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Letter from the head

 
 

Dear Parents and Carers,

I think I say the same every year – but I can’t quite believe how quickly this term has gone.

The Open Mornings and Open Evening were the busiest we’ve had in recent years, with lots of positive feedback about the changes we’ve made in moving year 9 to the Nevill Campus and the Sixth Form re-located on the Valley Campus.

All students have made a very positive start to the new academic year. The focus of year 9 has been particularly impressive, as they begin their GCSE curriculum.

I am delighted to share with you the plans and pictures of our building development work. It is really exciting to see some of the money allocated to us starting to make a tangible difference to the learning environment, on both campuses.

Over the next year, I have asked each faculty to contribute to our Parklife newsletter. In this edition we have the Maths Faculty led by Hannah Boraster (Assistant Headteacher).

There is lots going on in the lead up to Christmas, including our annual staff Strictly Come Dancing contest and the Christmas Fare. In light of the recent tragic event we have been coming to terms with as a school, we will be using both events to raise money for local mental health and wellbeing charities and support groups.

Best wishes,

Jim Roberts - Head Teacher

 
 
 
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New building works unveiled!

 
 

Exciting times ahead for Hove Park School... We are pleased to unveil a host of exciting upcoming building works that will make a tangible difference to the learning environment on both our campuses.

Our Valley Campus will feature remodelling of the main entrance, an extension to our dining area, a new Cullum (SEN) Centre extension and a new floodlit 11-a-side 3G pitch!

The Nevill Campus plans feature a new dance and drama studio, larger science rooms, library conversion, sports hall extension and refurbishment, ICT suites, Cullum (SEN) Centre and new dining facilities!!!!

Valley campus will see:

- A new 3G 11-a-side floodlit pitch

- Remodelling of the main entrance

- An extension to our dining area

- A new Cullum (SEN) Centre extension

Nevill campus will see:

- Increased sports and science accommodation

- A new Cullum (SEN) Centre

- Remodelling of the existing library, ICT, Fitness Suite and changing room spaces

- New security fencing and gates

We will share more detailed plans over the coming days.

 
   
 
 
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Maths Faculty - meet the team

 
 

It is the mission of the maths faculty to ensure that all students at Hove Park School develop skills to become independent problem solvers because of this we felt it would be a great idea for our community to get to know the team a little more and why we love maths and teaching so much. Throughout this edition of Parklife we have included some of our hard-working maths team so you can get to know them a little better.

Hananh BorasterAssistant Head Teacher and Head of Maths Faculty.

After working a few years in the games industry, I decided to become a Maths teacher to help develop students’ abilities to work systematically and creatively when solving problems. I love being able to figure out a solution and seeing it work, so there is nothing better than guiding young minds to be able to do this independently as well. Problem solving is a core skill in any workplace, even if it doesn’t necessarily involve Pythagoras’ theorem, so I truly believe that all our students benefit from a good understanding in Mathematics.

 
   
 
 
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Girl's rugby festival

 
 

On Thursday 17th October Hove Park hosted a girl's rugby festival to coincide with the Rugby World Cup and promote the women and girl's game.

More than 120 girls from across Brighton and Hove attended the event, where new and current players came together to play a mixture of touch and fully competitive rugby 7s games.

Former Hove Park students, Jade and Jasmine, provided some fantastic coaching for the young players and were a real inspiration in promoting girls rugby.

Thank you to Cardinal Newman, Varndean, BACA, Dorothy Stringer, BHHS, Blatchington Mill and Patcham for joining us to provide this experience for our students.

 
   
 
 
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Maths Faculty - meet the team

 
 

Phil Sumner, Lead Practitioner in Digital Teaching and Learning, Maths Teacher

From a young age I had decided I was either going to pursue mathematics or music. Both subjects seemed to offer numerous opportunities and so I kept my options open until I entered teacher training following a degree in Maths and Physics at Leeds University.

Mathematics always allowed me to explore ideas, question why and find solutions. Of course, they were not always correct and that’s the still the case! This can be the interesting part, the frustrating part or the fun part.

To have the ability and skill to be able to explain why something is as it is or works in that way is implicit to most jobs and careers. In my role as Lead Practitioner for digital teaching and learning these skills are ever present in the applications we use in day to day. The use of technology to improve our understanding or assist in our learning is now integral to our lives. We have a duty to prepare our students for the 21st Century and so I see it as paramount that our students are taught these mathematical and digital skills to give them the best opportunities for their futures.

 
   
 
 
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CERN trip

 
 

At four in the morning fourteen year 11 students set off to Gatwick to catch a flight to Geneva for a day visit to CERN, the world’s biggest science experiment and main centre for the study of particle physics and credited with the discovery of new particles such as the Higgs Bosun, which help us know more about the nature of the universe and the Big Bang. After a short bus and tram journey, we arrived at the Swiss part of CERN, and our tour began with a visit to two exhibitions about the work of CERN, with up to date interactive displays, films and materials used in experiments.

We then went for lunch at the CERN canteen mingling with the research staff in the Swiss September sunshine. Next we were lucky enough to meet a real Dr of Physics, Dr Eduard Simioni, who has been working with and at the centre since 2005. He answered questions, shared his life experience and introduced us to the main achievements at CERN. The day was interspersed with excellent audiovisual presentations, but then the real substance of the tour began: firstly, a visit to the synchrocyclotron, one of the first particle accelerators which started being used in 1956 and was accelerating particles using magnetic and electric fields until the 1990s. So heavy is the structure that rather than dismantling it, they have just built new offices around it and it now forms a fantastic display about the early experiments.

We then went on a 20-minute bus ride into France to the other side of the 27km circumference Large Hadron Collider, (LHC) to visit the CMS detector. This is an all-purpose detector with a muon focus sitting 100m underground. Since it is undergoing maintenance, we were able to go down in the lift to see the detector itself, a marvel of engineering, which made the synchrocyclotron seem tiny. Many students even went into the control room, as although there are no particle collisions taking place they are still testing the detector using natural cosmic rays.

We drove back into Switzerland and took the bus and tram back to Geneva airport to take a plane back to Gatwick. One of the students concluded that it was a very long yet fascinating day!

 
   
 
 
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Maths Faculty - meet the team

 
 

Joseph Whiteman, Lead Practitioner in Teaching and Learning, Maths Teacher

Graduating with a Mathematics and Finance degree offered plenty of opportunities for a variety of careers. I decided to become a Mathematics teacher when I visited my old school and remembered the huge impact my Mathematics teacher had, not only on my education, but also my attitude and determination to succeed in any task. I wanted to influence lives to share the same passion for Mathematics and attitude that anything is possible. Mathematics is a universal language that helps solve an infinite amount of problems. It is a fundamental subject that should be enjoyed, as everyday life offers many problems that must be solved.

 
   
 
 
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Thank you for visiting our school

 
 

This year's Open Evening was a great success. Classrooms were zinging with interactivity and student involvement, and there was such a lovely atmosphere around our school.

From all the staff and students of Hove Park, thank you to all the Year 6 parents that joined us. We hope you had just as much fun as we did!

 
   
 
 
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Maths Faculty - meet the team

 
 

Rasoul Saadatzadeh, Assistant Head of Maths Faculty, Maths Teacher

Coming to England to study made me realise my passion to help others to understand Mathematics. I wanted to challenge the misconception that Mathematics is a difficult subject. This led me into the teaching profession and after 22 years I still enjoy each day in the classroom.

 

 
   
 
 
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Ex student scores for Brighton and Hove Albion!

 
 

Ex Hove Park student Haydon Roberts scored his first senior goal for Brighton and Hove Albion in the League Cup against Aston Villa on his first team debut in front of nearly 15,000 at the Amex Stadium. An amazing achievement, especially with Haydon playing in defence!

After joining the Seagulls in October 2015, Haydon worked his way through the club’s youth ranks to become a prominent figure in the Albion’s under-18s.

Haydon was so successful during the game that fans voted him man of the match on twitter. Amazing!

 

 
   
 
 
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Maths Faculty - meet the team

 
 

Damian McIver, Co-Assistant Head of Maths Faculty, Maths and Psychology Teacher

From my time as a Psychology graduate and post graduate I developed a love of applying Maths to prove/disprove hypotheses. It is my belief that Maths is of immense value in enabling people to become fully independent in this ever-changing world of ours, and I relish the opportunity that I have been given to play a role in enabling Hove Park students to achieve their true potential.

 
   
 
 
 
 

Beating the odds!

 
 

The British Council recently commissioned Education Policy Institute (EPI) to undertake some research into boys take up of MFL subjects using the national pupil database. They did this as boys entry and attainment in MFL subjects is consistently below that of girls. The report found that Hove Park School is one of only 51 nationally which is “beating the odds”, that is, although being in a category typically associated with lower than average MFL attainment, language attainment at our school for boys is 10 percentage points higher than average for all boys and also for disadvantaged boys (according to the model created by EPI).

 
   
 
 
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Maths Faculty - meet the team

 
 

Sunny Agnihotri, Head of Year, Maths Teacher

There are so many students that I’ve come across in my teaching career that have a fear of Maths. My whole philosophy as an educator is revolved around the ‘Growth Mindset’ model. To this extent, my teaching mantra is “there’s no such word as can’t”. I want students to feel confident about this subject and appreciate that mistakes are healthy as long as we learn from them. I’m often quoting icons of the world and stating they only succeeded through hard work, correcting mistakes and lots of practice. My background in sports has probably got something to do with why I’m passionate about students giving it their all!

 
   
 
 
 
 

German Exchange with Matare Gymnasium

 
 

This year’s year 11 German trip to our exchange school in Meerbusch near Duesseldorf in Germany successfully returned on the last Sunday of half term. The group comprised of some quite nervous students at the start. Some were staying in home stay families and some residing in the youth hostel in the city centre of Duesseldorf itself. They returned after 5 days with a real sense of having overcome these initial nerves and many found it quite a wrench to leave their German student buddies and there was a real sense that everyone left with a deeper and more rounded understanding of German culture, family life and language.

The trip comprised of a series of cultural as well as linguistic challenges, now in its tenth year. The initial day was spent in our large partner school in Meerbusch, Matare Gymnasium where we started the day with a very warm welcome from the Head Teacher Herr Gutjahr-Doells. The students joined their buddies at the start of the day and worked on presentations of sites in the target language. Our students then went into town on the following day and presented each of the sites to us all as if they were a tour guide – many received high praise indeed for their communication skills. It was a rather wet and cold day in Duesseldorf itself on the Friday, but the Saturday saw the sun again and the group headed to Bonn for a really interesting tour around the Haus der Geschichte (Germany’s Museum of Post-War German history) followed by a visit to Cologne and the delights of a Brauhaus lunch, packed with sausage and sauerkraut! The final morning we all ascended the Rheinturm (the tall tower that is an imposing height over the river in the city centre) and were blessed with lovely sunny views over the Rheingebiet.

All returned tired but secure in the knowledge that we had all appreciated the opportunity to learn more about a language, culture and people we all have grown to love. Many thanks to Miss Gibb for having organised this with our partner Herr Vonk in Germany. The German students join us in the middle of November in school.

 
   
 
 
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Maths Faculty - meet the team

 
 

Kenny Fraser, Maths Teacher

Having taught for 27 years, I love the challenge that Mathematics presents and I like that these challenges can be achieved at all levels. I guess I thought I could guide students through the twists and turns and watch as they filled with pride on their achievements. I’m now looking forward to year number 28!

 

 

 
   
 
 
 
 

PE round-up

 
 

This half-term our PE teams had a great start to their new seasons. The year 7 girls took part in the Brighton and Hove District Football tournament, the U13 girls football team opened their season with a National Cup tie against Durrington, our Year 8 boys had a great first match against Blatchington Mill, the year 8 rugby team attended a new Rugby Skills event at Cardinal Newman and year 9 beat Dorothy Stringer 3-0 to name but a few. To read all our PE news follow this link.

 
   
 
 
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Maths Faculty - meet the team

 
 

Christopher Waite, Maths Teacher

I remember very clearly in Infant school being asked what I wanted to be when I was older (apart from a bit taller). I replied I wanted to be a Maths teacher. A great many years later I’ve achieved my ambition – Maths have given me so much over the years, self-esteem, pleasure and helping me achieve my goals in life. I very much enjoy helping others to achieve that same self-esteem, pleasure and achievement.

 

 
   
 
 
 
 

Sixth Form mentoring younger students

 
 

With Sixth Form now based on our Valley Campus, the opportunities for Sixth Form to mentor, teach and coach younger students are endless. A great addition to any young person’s CV or UCAS form and one of the great benefits of attending Hove Park Sixth Form.

 
   
 
 
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Maths Faculty - meet the team

 
 

Amber Hunt, Maths Teacher

After being a Primary School teacher for many, many years I decided that I loved teaching Maths more than any other subject, so I switched to Secondary. I then came to work at Hove Park and I love the way the students approach their learning in Maths with enthusiasm and confidence. Teaching Maths is my favourite thing next to sea swimming and Hove Park students are the best!

 
   
 
 
 
 

Young Writer’s Mission Chaos Competition

 
 

Three of our students, Fintan year 8, Emily year 10 and Emma year 10, are to have their short stories published in a book entitled Survival Sagas: Mission Chaos. There were 18,000 entries, and if they get through to the next round they each have a chance of winning £100. Amazing talent!

 
   
 
 
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Maths Faculty - meet the team

 
 

Ellen Mulvenna, Maths Teacher

After always working with children through volunteering with Girl Guiding, throughout my degree in Geography and Geology, I saw many of the girls develop, grow and gain skills for their future. This secured my aspiration to become a teacher and work with children and help them achieve their goals and aspirations. I decided to train to teach Maths as it is an important skill student’s need to have to help them with problem solving in any job. Maths concepts are used every day by everybody even if it is subconsciously and this is something that makes the subject interesting, relating everyday Maths into the classroom. I love to see student's confidence and understanding in Maths grow as I teach them in my classes.

 
   
 
 
 
 

Amsterdam trip

 
 

50 students from years 9, 10 and 11 spent the first weekend of half term exploring the art and culture of Amsterdam. After driving through the night, staff and students arrived in Amsterdam at midday on Friday 25th October; straight into a whistle stop tour of the Van Gogh Museum where we got to see some of his most iconic paintings, followed by a canal cruise of the city for some perspective before finally making it to the hotel for some much needed sleep!

Day 2 was spent at The Kröller-Müller Museum, a national art museum and sculpture garden, located in the Hoge Veluwe National Park in Otterlo in the Netherlands. The weather was glorious, the sun was shining, it was the perfect place for us to stretch our legs, admire the art and get some group photos! From there, we went back in to Amsterdam to visit the Anne Frank House.One student said that it was “an incredibly enlightening and moving experience.”

Our last day began with a visit to the MOCO Museum, an independent museum located in Amsterdam dedicated to exhibiting modern and contemporary art. The museum was founded with the mission of attracting broader and younger audiences, and of making art accessible to the public.

We then had some time for waffles and shopping before the coach trip home.

Many thanks to all the students that came on the trip for being such positive role models for the school and to the staff that helped provide this opportunity.

 
   
 
 
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Maths Faculty - meet the team

 
 

Nathan Skilton Day, Maths Teacher

I knew I wanted to become a Maths teacher from the age of 14 years old. I had an incredible Maths teacher who managed to keep me focused and entertained throughout and who taught me that learning can be fun and rewarding. Because of this I decided to pursue teaching Maths as my primary objective. As a result, I got a Math Degree and went straight into teaching. Now that I am a Maths teacher I have always felt that if I can have the same impact as my Maths teacher on even just a few pupils, then I am doing the right thing. I love making sure pupils enjoy the same passion for Mathematics and problem solving as I do.

 
   
 
 
 
 

Equalities day

 
 

Friday 25th October was Equalities Day for all students at Hove Park School and Sixth Form. This is the first time an entire day has been focused around this topic and it was a huge success. With the main theme being about everyone understanding different issues regarding equality and the different facets of the Equalities Act, students took part in a series of workshops across the day.

As well as sessions delivered by Hove Park staff on stereotypes and the Equalities Act, we had a host of fascinating and thought-provoking guest speakers, sessions and workshops throughout the day covering a wide range of equality topics. From equality in sport to breaking the stigma around mental health, students were challenged to really think about the true meaning of equality.

 
   
 
 
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Maths Faculty - meet the team

 
 

Andrew Alexander, Maths Teacher

Having gained a degree in Sport Science and experience working in the charitable sector of professional football clubs, helping the community through education, I have ignited a passion for education and helping children aspire to achieve. I believe maths is fundamental to this end, giving them the skills to problem solve and to view more objectively their development towards their goals. I am excited to be a part of the Hove Park Team and hope to develop collaborative learning through mathematics, technology and sport.

 
   
 
 
 
 

Jamie's Farm

 
 

In October, nine students from years 9,10 and 11 went to Jamie’s Farm near Lewes for a week’s residential. During this week they had no access to any communication with the outside world. They were also not allowed to bring any food or drink. Their days were full of practical activities, lots of physical exercise, topped off with three healthy home cooked meals each day.

Jamie’s Farm has a hands-on therapeutic ethos within a safe structured environment; their focus being on living holistically, working together and eating together along with plenty of opportunities to talk, both in groups and one to one.

The day would start before breakfast with feeding the animals and cleaning out their pens. The rest of the day was full of activities such as making birch fencing, horse shelters, art, music, gardening and cooking for 20 people. All these activities were meaningful, practical, useful, creative, and at many times challenging for our students. We all shared meals around a big table, eating and talking together. The food was delicious, all cooked using fresh ingredients. There were no E numbers, no frying and very little sugar. A daily, late afternoon, 4-5km walk on the South Downs around the farm was another opportunity to talk and connect with the young people. The day would end with showers, a delicious dinner and a final check-in. The perfect end to the day. The staff at the farm conducted check-in meetings at the start and end of each day; everyone would state how they were feeling. This ties in closely to the emotion coaching training we had at school last year. Finally, everyone would also give a shout out to any young person who inspired, helped, or was particularly brave that day.

The transformation in the students’ confidence, resilience, energy levels and ability to focus during the week was truly amazing. There are too many fantastic moments to share here, but at the final celebration meeting where the farm staff gave each student an individual commendation on overcoming challenges, celebrating their successes and special qualities, had many Hove Park staff in tears.

One final note is to share what one of the students said at the final meeting-

"Before I came here, I thought I was one kind of person but now I can see I have optimism in me”

 
   
 
 
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Maths Faculty - meet the team

 
 

Sella Van Gompel, Maths Teacher

I have always enjoyed Maths and it has changed my life in ways that I could not have imagined. When I was a teenager, as a Maths’ tutor, I loved the challenge of finding different ways to teach the topic to my students. I decided to become a Maths teacher so that I could change the way students feel about Maths and to see it as something that is both fun and achievable; a doorway to so many opportunities.


 
   
 
 
 
 

Year 11 Parliament trip

 
 

Thirty three students from Year 11 went on a visit to the Houses of Parliament for a tour and for a seminar on voting as part of their Philosophy Religion and Ethics (PRE) course which all students do. This year learning is focussed on Civic Values such as democracy, freedom and rule of law.

After arriving at Westminster and going through airport style security to enter the Houses of Parliament, we were taken for a tour of all the main parts of the buildings, beginning with the magnificent and newly restored 1000 year old Westminster Hall, with its ancient hammer beam roof, the place where many famous event in history have happened including the trial of Thomas More and Charles 1st, as well as speeches by Nelson Mandela and the Pope, among others.

Next we went to both chambers. In the House of Lords, they were debating the needs of British citizens who are orphans in Syria and other children there as a result of the conflict and our responsibilities towards them. In the House of Commons they were looking at the detail of the Queens Speech. That morning there had been Prime Minister’s Questions so there was still a heightened atmosphere in the buildings.

After a tour of both houses we went for a seminar in the Education wing about voting and students formed into different parties each producing a manifesto with three key points to deliver. They had access to the budget constraints which real governments have in creating these. There were some fantastic presentations including one from Maddie for the ‘Good Future’ party. Eric Payne delivered a fantastic manifesto for his group too. Flynn Smith was excellent at grilling the various speakers with challenging questions as they delivered their manifestos. Then we had a mock election in the different ‘constituencies’ and a coalition party was formed! It was a valuable insight into the compromises of politics today and a helpful support to our classroom learning about democracy.

 
   
 
 
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Maths Faculty - meet the team

 
 

Joseph Chilvers, Maths Teacher

I decided to do my degree in Secondary Mathematics education, due to my love of mathematic and experience of tutoring at college. I finished my degree and immediately got an opportunity for my first career job at Hove park. Since being here I've learnt to build great relationships with students allowing for a natural flow to lessons which in turn makes math's enjoyable for everyone. My love for Maths stems from intellectual curiosity, being unable to put a problem down once started lead me to delve into complex questions that I found fascinating. If I'm able to instill that fascination into my students, I will be successful in my eyes.

 
   
 
 
 
 
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