Activ8 was great!

The logic behind Activ8

We wanted to provide fun and exciting learning experiences, which were different from the normal but fantastic lessons, for the last 8 days of the summer term.


During Activ8, the Art department ran workshops for year 7,8 and 9.

Year 7 took part in Photography workshop, learning how to use the camera on their iPads and creating a stop frame animation. They also created an appliqued portrait in the style of Gary Hume using textile techniques, vintage fabrics and felt.

Year 8 students who had opted for Art, Photography and Textiles took part in workshops for their chosen subject. Year 8 created Zen Tangle animals in Art, they made recycled jewelry in Textiles and in Photography learnt about Composition and portraits.

Year 9 students who had opted for Art and Photography created Alphabet Spaghetti in the Photography workshops whilst creating repeat patterns using natural objects, Dazzle Camouflage and Op Art in their Art workshops.

All students enjoyed the work.

Tracy French, Heather Wynn, Sarah Peterson and Andrew McFadden

Business Studies Activ8 Challenge

Year 9 students were tasked with designing and creating a robot, planning and recording a trailer to promote a movie about the robot and calculating costs for profit or loss.
The challenge gave students the opportunity to work in groups and utilize a range of skills to complete all tasks set out. There were some brilliant robots built and some really creative ideas when it came to using digital technology to create the trailer.
Jen Welsh and Deb Keefe

Climbing at the Boardroom

Mr Bell took groups of Year 7 and 8 students to the Boardroom in Deeside. He said:

We had a great time at The Boardroom.  Hope we can do the same again next year.  Here are some photos.  All attendees were fantastic, Rosie Bennion (year 8) perhaps deserves a special mention.  She stepped in at the last minute to take the place of another student.  At the wall she really impressed her instructor by the encouragement she gave to the others in her group and also by climbing a 6a route just wearing her training shoes, impressive stuff!

Learner Effectiveness Enhancement Programme – LEEP


The ‘Grit’ part of LEEP was about determination and perseverance. Students were given 4 exercises in a circuit and asked to see how many reps of each exercise they could do in 30 seconds. They were then asked to repeat the circuit and try and beat their score. I could not possibly pick out one or two students as they all worked exceptionally hard which was a pleasure to see.

Sam Downs, George Owen, Mark Jones and Monique Noel


As you can see from the photos year 8 were thoroughly engaged and enjoyed learning about how positive language can be used in the classroom to promote determination and effort. They produced some outstanding work and made every effort to involve themselves in the lesson.

We would like to say a very well done to Lottie Brooks and Nathaniel Ball. Both students readily answered questions, made every effort to complete the work to the best of their ability and engaged with using positive language in the classroom.

We enjoyed delivering the lesson and would love the opportunity to do it again next year.

Chloe Brown and Alice Newbury


The Mindfulness sessions were fantastic and well conducted. Students engaged really well and left with the understanding of how mindfulness interventions can improve the mental, emotional, social and physical health and well being of young people who take part. The students expressed feeling a sense of relaxation whilst participating positively, in a range of productive activities. Students created a calm atmosphere that was perfect for fantastic mindfulness moments to take place. I would definitely deliver these sessions again, the benefits and impact was instant.

One of the tasks they took part in was called My Mindful Moment. Students were taken for a walk in the outside environment. Once they were out there they were asked to choose a natural object to notice for a minute. When there mindful minute was over, students took a photo of the object. Back in the classroom students were then asked to create a mood board, using their image. Students included words that described how they felt in their mindful moment and words that came to mind when looking at the object or image. This was a successful way of incorporating digital technology into a relaxation lesson. Relaxing music was played to students whilst they completed the task, this set a calm atmosphere.

Deb Keefe and John Keegan


We led the Resilience session. We looked at what resilience is, certain characteristics of it and why it is needed for success. Students engaged well and felt that it was valuable for both their personal life and academic studies. It provided a new outlook, if you can’t find a way, make one!

Karen Smale and Emma Summers


Our brain is a muscle and just as we would exercise our bodies to make them stronger, we need to do the same with our brains.  This gives us learning strength and builds our brain power.

Jamie Lee Toland and Kate Wilson

MFL Creative writing

The MFL team ran an afternoon of creative writing for Year 9 students.

Our students completed creative writing activities in all four languages; French, German Spanish and Mandarin.  They worked in small groups to collate their ideas and look up useful vocabulary for the task ahead.  They then completed poems either individually or in pairs.  We were very impressed by the quality of work from our Year 9 students.  Please see examples below from Amy McDermott and Jack Hitchcock.


Harry Potter

Visiting Year 5 students from the following primary schools attended a magical ‘Harry Potter Experience at our school: Acresfield, Newton, Saughall All Saints, Mickle Trafford, Newton, Westlea, Guilden Sutton, Hoole and Chester Blue Coat.
The visiting students all experienced lessons that Harry Potter would have loved! They were all given the opportunity to learn about the care of magical creatures with a visit from Cheshire Falconry Centre, Blakemere. A huge highlight was learning about the ways owls fly, with students asked to participate in an activity that allowed a barn owl to fly above them. Students also had the opportunity to name an 8 week old tawny owl, who will now become known as Steve.
Students all participated in a variety of classes where staff from Upton High dressed as wizards: Potions, Quidditch, Charms, Transfiguration and they all completed an N.E.W.T (Nasty Exhausting Wizarding Test- but there were some lovely prizes!) It was an exciting day.

Maths workshops

Visit to the Imperial War Museum

At the IWM all students were fantastically engaged with the handling session about the life of a WW1 soldier and in the main exhibition space worked their way through a work booklet with huge dedication. The prize winners were Nathan Farrington and Alex Bell who completed their booklets extensively!

PSHE Performance Workshops

Empowering youth a company from London visited and worked with students looking at self esteem, confidence and managing stress. They gave the students scenarios to discuss and activities to complete. Students were able to share personal stories and showed great respect doing so. Many students came to speak to us afterwards and said it had made them reflect on how they see themselves.
During the session Matthew Dalton was particularly outstanding with his contributions.

Techniquest Visit

All the Year 7 students who attended Techniquest had a really enjoyable morning.  As well as spending some time interacting with all the Science and Technology exhibits, we completed a Computer Science based activity called ‘Don’t hit the Lego Man’.  This activity involved programming Lego Mindstorm NXT robots in Techniquest’s specialist Lego laboratory.
Justin Collis
 Andrea Ruggier and Harvey Salisbury (pictured below) were two of the students who really enjoyed the experience. Along with all the other students they will both have a ‘head start’ when completing Lego Mindstorm NXT programming in Year 8.

Year 9 Science Visit to London

A fun packed, non-stop two days in London.  Students had  the opportunity to be inspired by Science as we attended the Natural History museum with the Blue Whale and the Dinosaurs being a major attraction, then swiftly onto the Science museum where the students got to interact and participate in a variety of Science activities.  In addition the students got to see some major stars walk the red carpet for the opening premier of the new Star Trek film as well as seeing some major landmarks whilst “flying” on the London Eye and sailing on a Thames tour.
The honoree mention has to go to “sally”.  Those who went on this trip, staff and students alike, will never, ever forget that name.
Steve Lydiate

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