Author Archives: Daniel Hopa

Garston School wins 3rd prize in Suffragette Competition

Richard Harrington MP recently invited schools to an art competition to commemorate 100 years since the Representation of the People Act 1918.  Mr Harrington said “The Representation of the People Act 1918 was a vital step towards the rights women have today, and the centenary of that Act is an important opportunity for us to reflect on our progress.  That we’ve seen two female Prime Ministers shows just how far we’ve come.”

Stanborough Secondary School pupils were moved by the realisation that the struggle for equality still has some way to go and duly accepted his invitation to create an art piece.  One of our year 9 pupils, Stephanie, won 3rd place.  Mr Harrington is seen here with Stephanie’s art piece in his right hand.  Stephanie received a bundle of gifts from Mr Harrington including a certificate of completion from the House of Commons.

Runners up were celebrated with a special assembly: 1st prize an £80 art set for Stephanie, 2nd prize,  £50 set for Nusaiba and 3rd prize, £30 set awarded to Evie.  12 additional pupils received consolation prizes for their effort, they were Kristiyan, Rohan, Marlon, Clyde, Carlos, Nyasha, Thea, Mikaela, Sarah-Jane, Melissa, Ethel and Leah.    

 

Up For Marine Engineering?

I have never thought about being an engineer before, so I was not particularly excited about this workshop. I like to study maths and physics, but engineering wasn’t an option that I considered until the Marine Engineering Workshop that Stanborough School organised for us.  A friendly marine engineer came to deliver the workshop and it was an interesting experience for me: it opened my eyes to a number of careers in Science, Engineering and Technology.

In the first part of the workshop, the instructor explained to us what marine engineering is, what marine engineers do and what this profession aims for. I was amazed at the fascinating things that marine engineers build; being a marine engineer means more than simply building boats and submarines. It is building whatever needs to be built in a creative and innovative way.

In the second part, we had a practical activity and a competition. The class was divided in groups of three and our task was to build a boat with thick paper and some wires. We would then put all the boats in water, filling them with some marble balls. Finally, the boat that could hold the maximum number of balls without sinking, would win. In the end, it was harder than we thought. Building a little paper boat is difficult enough; this made me realise that to build a real boat is not an easy job.

By the end of the workshop, engineering was becoming a very viable and attractive career option. While I might not necessarily opt for marine engineering, other areas of this profession are definitely worth exploring. What intrigued me most about engineering is how it has comprises maths and physics principles, along with creativity and originality.

Text by Lisia

How Do You Know Summer Is Knocking?

How do you know summer is knocking? Simple: it starts knocking straight after Stanborough’s Arts Festival! And this year has been no different. Arts Festival was an evening to dazzle: instrumental and vocal music, poetry, drama, drums, dancing and even a wedding. That’s right, Mr Hopa finally shared with the school the truth about how he chose a wife some years ago. Whether you were there or missed the night, enjoy the highlights.

 

Text by Mrs Milis-Hopa
Video by Mr Zapotichny

Garston students return from India teaching trip

Five teenagers from a Garston secondary school spent two weeks in India in February on a character-building trip teaching children in a school attached to an orphanage.

Pupils from Stanborough Secondary School have been involved in annual trips to India for the past twenty years since recently-retired science teacher Kish Poddar took a group of 14 students to a small orphanage in Thally in Tamil Nadu to build a chicken shed to help the orphanage become more self-sufficient. The second project undertaken the following year was to paint the newly constructed boys dormitory, sponsored by the UK based Charity STOP International for the same orphanage.

For the next seven years the annual trips involved helping with basic construction work and decorating in various orphanages in Tamil Nadu state as part of the students’ coursework for the International Baccalaureate examination although one year they acted as volunteers at an eye camp in northern India. After this it was decided to give the Year 10 students the opportunity to help underprivileged youngsters in the children’s homes.

After months of preparation, planning lessons and gathering resources – with the help and advice of the English teacher who accompanied the group – five students ( three boys and two girls) and three staff (including Mr. Poddar) from the school travelled to India during the February Half Term break to start two weeks of teaching at the BESSO Primary school delivering ten 40-minute lessons each day for eight days.

Returning students have always claimed to find the opportunity a very special experience and this year’s group proved to be no exception. As one, summing up the views of the rest of the group, said, “Year after year I would sit on the same Stanborough chairs and listen to the previous Year 10 students explain how this trip changed their lives. However, I did not really believe that a trip could really be that moving. I loved seeing the children so happy and enthusiastic with so little and in the end it was very hard for me to let them go. This experience has touched my heart and I would surely love to come again.”

Organiser Mr. Poddar explained that the school’s director felt that the orphans benefited from the experience as well by having their ties with the UK strengthened and having English-speaking natives teaching their lessons. The teachers benefited by observing a different teaching style and being exposed to new resources. That the children enjoyed having the students each year was obvious from the way they remembered and asked about those who had visited them during previous years.

He added, “During their time in India the students had a set routine of waking up and lights out times, meal times and recreation times and had to put up with the novel experience of a mobile phone curfew from 10:30 pm to 7:30 am by handing in their phones to the staff. To make the trip more enjoyable the timetable included two days of sightseeing and one day of shopping. The team visited the Maharajah’s Palace in Bangalore and the beautiful Bannerghetta Wildlife Safari Park and Zoo.”

Explaining the rationale behind the scheme Mr. Poddar continued, “These trips are designed for the physical, mental and spiritual growth and development of the students. Humanitarian projects such as these play an enormous role in building character. We believe that Stanborough School leads from the front in this area.”

Source: https://www.mynewsmag.co.uk/garston-students-return-from-india-teaching-trip/

Stanborough Ultra Academy Business Club

There was a buzz of excitement as the students made their pitches.  One pitch was for a cupcake business, while another was for slime – yes, slime! 

Students have been attending the UltraAcademy business club for four weeks now, on Wednesday afternoons, after school.

 They have learnt about business and entrepreneurship, how to create a product, how to make a pitch and how to price a product.

 The facilitator, Sam Appiah, is happy with the progress that the students have made so far.  The students are  very happy and excited, too.

The club is open to students in all year groups.

Text: Mrs E Hussey

Stanborough Goes Sporty

It is said that sports reveal character and this was certainly true on Stanborough’s Sports Day. Our students dreamed big, tried hard and aimed high. Here are the memories we made:

International Night 2017

Much anticipated, the International Night was a resounding success. Not only the school saw the Head Teacher dance, but the rich tapestry of cultures represented at Stanborough Secondary and International Stanborough Schools was tantalising. See a glimpse of it for yourself:

Tribute to Ms Byng

Dear Ms Byng,

You have left us too soon, but what you have given us will stay with us forever. You have shown us what it means to live life to the full, every day, not just to exist. You have taught us that life is all about God, service, laughter, friendship, love, maths and mangoes. You have given us the gift of singing, helping, exercising and hard work. We thank God for the present your life has been to all of us, students and staff alike. We will treasure this present and cherish our present, reaching in and reaching out.

Laverne Byng (1962-2017) d. 23 February. Laverne was born in Trinidad on the 19th September 1962 to Henry and Gloria Byng. The seventh child of the couple, Laverne learnt early the joys of having a big family. And the family continued to grow until Laverne had five younger siblings too! 

Laverne’s passion for learning took her from the little village school in Laventille, to Bishops Anstey High School, in Port of Spain, at a time when few children of her upbringing could enter a prestige school. An avid reader, Laverne would stop at the bookstore, on the way home from school, and read half of a Nancy Drew novel. Once at home, she would recall it in detail for the benefit of her younger siblings.

In her early twenties, Laverne’s love for learning paid off. After working at the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago for some time, she won a scholarship to study in England, where she gained a Diploma in Professional Studies in Accounting (ACCA) and then a Masters of Business Administration. Having graduated, Laverne worked for the Allied Irish Bank and then at the BBC as a Financial Controller. Being the only black female manager at the BBC presented some challenges, but Laverne faced them with steadfast kindness.

Years later, Laverne’s passion for sharing the gospel led her to get involved with Adventist-Muslim Relations. She worked tirelessly to communicate the hope we have in Jesus, specially to women. Through her ministry, Laverne was blessed with many long-lasting friendships, including her “adopted” sister Mahera.

In 1998, Laverne was diagnosed with a Churg-Strauss Syndrome, a rare autoimmune condition. There were days when her muscles were so weakened that she could not walk, but Laverne found much comfort in prayer and singing. With the support of doctors and friends, Laverne braved the pain and eventually trained as a fitness instructor, a passion she retained till the end.  

During the last seven years of her life, Laverne worked at Stanborough Secondary School as a bookkeeper and took every opportunity to serve others. Her office was always filled with music, laughter and students who needed help with Maths assignments. Staff members were blessed with her Tuesday fitness lessons and her smile, which she wore permanently.

 

Our Moment In History

On the 21st of June 2016, Stanborough School was invited to Parliament to watch and participate in the Disenfranchised Voices: The Big EU Youth Debate.

Were all the students who attended debate training interested in debating? No. To be honest, at first the only reason some of us attended was because our friends were going. However, we started to engage with the project because we realised that we had been given a once in a lifetime opportunity to debate – not in a room at a local school, not in a local church hall, but in the Houses of Parliament! Imagine our excitement as we researched and debated our points. There were times when we doubted our own courage to speak before the dignitaries, but we were determined to make our teachers, our parents, and ourselves proud.

During our preparation we learnt an important lesson, that with great opportunity comes great sacrifice. We sacrificed much of our free time to practise. However, this became less and less of a hardship: we began to enjoy it. We were given meaningful opportunities to practise arguing and rebutting and in the process, we became more confident in our ability to present and support our arguments. One activity that was particularly helpful was called “Hot Air Balloon Challenge”. Just imagine our laughter as we tried to formulate arguments designed to convince our peers not to throw us overboard, because we had knowledge and skills that could save humanity!

Finally, the big day came. We were nervous, yet excited, as we set off for the pre-debate training at Parliament House on 21st of June. Despite all the preparation, things did not go as planned. In an attempt to ensure that all participating schools were represented, some Stanborough School students were asked to give up their opportunity to participate in the debates. Selflessly and without hesitation, we graciously allowed other debaters to take our place at the podium. Were we disappointed? Yes, we were. However, we recognised the importance of providing others with the same amazing opportunities.

Surprisingly, this gave us the opportunity to exercise one of the fundamental British values we have been learning about: democracy. After voting to decide who would participate, those of us not debating gladly supported those who were chosen to debate. As a result, although not all of us debated in the Houses of Parliament, we still felt a sense of achievement as we helped our representatives to organise themselves and practise their arguments.

Consequently, we swelled with pride as Khaleel and Luana, our first speakers went up and demolished the opposition. At the beginning of the main debate, thirteen people indicated that they wanted to leave the EU. Luana and Khaleel managed to persuade 6 people to change their votes with their public speaking skills and arguments they put across. Imagine that! Two of the youngest speakers at the event had swayed the public’s opinion on an important issue!

Not to be outdone, both Jazzmine and Leah also argued with a passion and conviction about their chosen topic – the security of our country. The whole day demonstrated to us that regardless of the challenges we might face, if we work hard together and do our best, we will not only persevere, we will excel.

In summary thanks to the dedication of the IDEA staff and our teachers, we, the students of Stanborough Secondary school were given an amazing opportunity to voice our opinions and play an active role in one of the most significant moments in our history as a nation. Every student who attended left Parliament House with a greater knowledge about Brexit and immigration. Personally, I gained more confidence as I talked to people I would not normally approach and I developed important skills such as projecting my voice and using my words to captivate an audience.

I would like to close by once again thanking our teachers, our parents and the staff at IDEA who collaborated to provide us, students, with this incredible once in a lifetime opportunity. We are proud to be a part of the Stanborough family. Excelsior- Ever Higher!

Written By Zahra in Year 10

My Time In Parliament

Throughout this year I have attended our schools debate club. This club gave me the necessary experience and skills I need for debating. It taught me how to debate in public, and to put across my points convincingly, so that I am now able to persuade others to join my side. Then on Tuesday 21st June 2016 I was given the opportunity to speak in parliament regarding the EU referendum. It was an experience of a lifetime that was partly made possible by Stanborough School.

I had my speech prepared and I had read it through over and over again; I thought I was completely prepared and that nothing could throw me off balance. However, when we got to the last debate class and I listened to the sixth formers share their points, I was shaken. I realised that their ideas could easily annihilate mine! Therefore, when it was my turn to speak I had to change my speech. I completely rephrased my words so that the sixth formers couldn’t object to any of my arguments.

Then the debating began, and as each opponent was speaking, I was quickly noting down key points of their speech to refute. This way I was ready to counteract their points, hoping to persuade people to vote to against the motion of Brexit.

Then my name was called; I timidly went up to speak. I was extremely nervous and my hands began to tremble, but as I began to talk the nerves escaped my body, and I began to regain control of myself. I spoke fluently and tried to project my voice as best as I could. Fortunately, there were no objections to the points that I made, therefore I had no interruptions.

I went on this trip not only to make my school and my parents proud, but because when I researched the topic, I realised how much it would affect my future. I couldn’t just leave my future in the hands of adults who might not know all the facts, without sharing my point of view. I was eager to make everyone join the remain side, and to oppose this motion.

Despite being in Year 9, I am so happy that I was allowed to join the years 10s on this trip. It was extremely beneficial, and helped me to build up confidence even though i was only up there for 5 minutes. I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity to make my parents proud, and get my name across to other people. I couldn’t have been prouder to represent my school, Stanborough.

Throughout this whole experience I am happy to say I learnt how to project my voice meritoriously, mesmerising the audience.  I gained confidence in public speaking. I managed to convince several people to oppose the Brexit motion. In addition, I was thanked by many individuals that I would normally be too shy to speak to, this led me to be given the opportunity to attend more debating classes offered by an ambassador and a barrister. The head of this organisation proposed that he would also like to invite me on more trips to speak in the parliament, in the future.

Evidently, this trip turned out to be both fantastic and advantageous. Nevertheless, it was also entertaining! One exceptionally funny moment was when I was appointed to guide Mr Allen, who was driving the bus for us, to parliament, as there was diverted traffic everywhere. So I learnt that not only can I be a good debater, but I could now also pursue a career of a tour guide, as I successfully guided Mr Allen to parliament (even though I may have used a map…)

Without Ms Smith and Mrs Jackson this trip would not have been possible, they put in sleepless nights so that this trip would be perfect. And not to forget Mrs Dixon who is the one that comes up with all the incomparable ideas.

IDEA pictures posted on Facebook

Written By Khaleel  in Year 9