AMSI Blog 2018-2019

Welcome to Arts & Media School Islington blog 2018-19 where, along with our News Page, we keep you up to date with all the fascinating events that are taking place each week at our school.


Inspirational Rapper Talks to Year 7s

Our year 7s had the pleasure of hearing from Kitch, an extraordinary young rapper who uses his talent for rapping to overcome his speech impediment.

Despite a serious stutter, Kitch has gone against anyone who told him that he wouldn’t be able to rap, let alone perform, to be able to get on the stage, take the mic and rap.

And he did just that as he kindly gave a motivational speech and performed for an extended assembly for our youngest year group. Having overcome a massive obstacle in his own life, he told our year 7s that they are all capable of achieving any goals they set themselves.

Black History Celebration Evening

Our annual Black History Celebration got off to a sombre start with a haunting dance performance from our year 8s. To Nina Simone’s melancholy version of ‘Strange Fruit’ the dance was a powerful and moving depiction of slavery. It was one of the finest pieces of dance that we have seen at AMSI and set the scene perfectly.

The mood was then lightened with some great vocal and dance performances from students from all years and a final performance from Mr Wallen.


Mr Wallen and Mr King had put together a fitting evening confidently compered by a team of students to introduce the talented acts. A particular highlight was a great performance from Mia, who recently joined our year 10. She sang a couple of songs including a perfect version of Whitney Houston’s, ‘I Have Nothing’. Wow!


The evening was rounded off with some delicious Caribbean and African food. 

The Riot Act Road Safety Performance

This year’s year 7s were entertained and hopefully learned a valuable lesson about road safety by the Riot Act theatre company.


Specialising, and recognised by schools across the UK, as a leading provider of curriculum based theatre-in-educaton, the Riot Act provide an interesting and informative show which should stand our youngest year group in good stead for the future.

Middlesex University Dance Accelerator Programme

Mid November saw the start of the Middlesex University Dance Accelerator Programme. A selection of students interested in dance went up to the Finchley campus of Middlesex University to take part in the Middlesex University Dance school Raising Aspirations programme.


With equal measures of fun and hard work, this four weeks course is a fantastic opportunity to further the students’ skill, flexibility and fitness in dance.

Thank you to all parents and carers for allowing the students to take the course in their own time after school.

“Wonderful to welcome dancers to on Wednesday! Joining us for four Wednesday afternoons as part of our Raising Aspirations Programme

April Brown

Associate Lecturer for , Choreographer & Project Producer

Year 7 Anti Bullying Week Winners

‘Respect’ goes out to Year 7 students from Arts and Media Islington Secondary school (AMSI) who have won Islington’s Anti Bullying Week competition for schools.

The students produced their own version of the News at Ten on the theme ‘Choose Respect’ using Aretha Franklin’s song ‘Respect’ as inspiration.

Heather Vaccianna said: “A huge round of applause to the Year 7 students at AMSI for their fantastic entry for this year’s borough-wide creative competition. The students created a really entertaining piece that was fun to watch whilst reminding us of the serious impact of bullying and the importance of treating each other with respect to prevent it happening – well done!!”

Islington Life

Read full story here

Year 7 Students Meet Jeremy Corbyn

Our new Year 7 students have transitioned into secondary school really well. 

All students have had a taste of what the expectations are at AMSI, and Mr. Ritchie (Head of Year 7) is very pleased that his students are performing excellently – in all areas of the school!

Ciaran, who won the Headteacher’s Award in the first half-term and Viktor, who has the highest achievement points in Year 7 – were lucky enough to meet with Jeremy Corbyn MP on his recent visit to the school.

Both students gave feedback on their transition from primary to secondary school, their progress in lessons and what life is really like at AMSI.

All members of staff are proud of the Year 7 cohort’s achievements thus far, and are sure this will continue as we progress through this academic year.

Jeremy Corbyn Visits AMSI

Labour Leader and local MP Jeremy Corbyn visited AMSI on Friday taking time to meet and chat with young people in his constituency.

Jeremy heard about the students extraordinary achievements, which included some of the 30 who spent a week in Denmark on a Cultural Exchange, a group who run an emotional well-being club ‘First Friday’ and the Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge winners.


Exchange Trip to Denmark

For the second year running, students from Arts & Media School flew to Denmark to visit our exchange school, Ugelbølle Friskole. The students from a range of years, went to experience life in school in a rural part of Denmark and to live with their Danish counterparts.


They had also been rehearsing the dance and drama version of Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Red Shoes’. On arrival the students rehearsed the piece with the Danish students for a joint performance for the parent hosts and the staff of the school.

It was an amazing experience and the first time that some of our students had actually travelled abroad. Ugelbøelle Friskole has a very different ethos to most British school model and it provides a valuable insight for our students. We now look forward to the visit of the Danish students when they visit in the new year.

Hansel and Gretel at the Barbican

On October 12th, a group of Year 8 and 9 students attended a special production of ‘Hansel and Gretel’ at the Barbican Theatre as a rewards trip for their work during the Autumn Term.
‘Hansel and Gretel (A Nightmare in Eight Scenes) ‘was a reimagining of the famous tale, with specially commissioned poetry, chamber music, puppetry and animations, all projected live onto a large screen.
Students were also lucky enough to participate in a live Q&A session with poet Simon Armitage, who wrote the poetry for the production. He told students: “If you want to be a writer, you need to be a reader.” Excellent advice indeed!

New Beacon Books – RWC Student Visit

As part of our commitment to Reading for Pleasure and our Black History Month celebrations, two students were chosen from Year 7 and Year 9 to visit our local bookshop, New Beacon Books, on Stroud Green Road. Carl and Malachi were given the task of choosing some new books for the school library that they would really like to read themselves.


Both students spent some time browsing the bookshelves, reading blurbs and openings and talking about the books that had sparked their interest. It was not an easy decision but we left with Boys Don’t Cry by award-winning author and ex-Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman; Liccle Bit by ‘The Brixton Bard’ Alex Wheatle and A Nation Under Our Feet, part of the Black Panther graphic novel series, for something a bit different. Once Carl and Malachi have finished reading them, these books will be added to the Library catalogue and made available to all of our students.

About New Beacon

New Beacon Books was founded in 1966 by John La Rose and his partner Sarah White and was the UK’s first black publisher, specialist bookshop and international book distributor. For over 50 years New Beacon Books has made available to Britain and its communities poetry, literature, non –fiction, history and children’s books from Africa, Caribbean, Asia, African America, Europe, South America and Britain. The bookshop has been at the centre of many ground-breaking political and social projects, organisations and campaigns.

Young Girls Conference

Well done to Year 9 students, Dilara and Sade who performed their own play about stereotypes at the Young Girls Conference held at Platform in half-term.


They are part of the Hear2Change programme which works with schools to end violence against women.

The group meet on Thursday lunchtimes in the Library.

World Mental Health Day

On Wednesday the 10th of October, Year 9 students celebrated World Mental Health day by fundraising and raising awareness for Young Minds by taking part in Young Minds Hello Yellow Campaign.

We had a number of events taking place in school, including a bake and wristband sale and a beat the goalie competition.

Young Minds provide vital support for young people struggling with there Mental Health. Nationwide, 3 children in every classroom have a Mental Health problem. Worryingly only one of them will receive the support they need.

The crisis in children and young people’s mental health is real and it is urgent. More children and young people than ever before are reaching out for help with their mental health. But for those who take that brave step, help is much too hard to find.

Young Minds provide valuable services such as a parent helpline. If you want to find any further information on Young Minds please go to

Reading Mentors

We were all very excited to finally kick off our new AMSI Peer Reading programme last week!

Twenty Year 10 students met with twenty Year 7 students to talk about their attitudes to reading. There was an air of apprehension as everyone waited to find out who they had been paired with but this soon gave way to excitement as the students got to know one another.

As part of their important role as Upper School Prefects, our Reading Mentors have each been paired up with a Year 7 student who they will meet with for a 1:1 reading session on Thursday afternoons in the school canteen.

In future weeks, the Reading Mentors will be helping to share reading strategies and build the confidence of our Year 7 readers. Watch this space for updates on how they are getting on…


AMSI 6-a-side Football Team

Well done to the boys 6-a-side football team on coming third in the Islington and Camden District 6-a-side Tournament.

Special mention must go to Rory who played really well and was approached to represent Islington. They were unbeaten in normal time only losing on penalties in the semi-final. In the group stages they were the only team to draw with eventual winners St Aloysius.

Summer School 2018

New Year 7 get off to a flying start!

We are very proud of our new Year 7 students who have made a fantastic start to secondary school life. They are confident, kind and really enthusiastic about learning.


Xirone, Lukas, Cara and Kaio who did not know anyone before they started credit their successful Transition to attending AMSI Summer School. 

“Thank you. It has been a pleasure being with you for 4 days. I have really made a lot of friends and Summer School. It was really fun and I’ve enjoyed it”.  Kaio

“I have really enjoyed my time at Summer School. Staff have been kind and supportive and the activities have been really fun. the whole experience has got me ready for when I start secondary school”. Lukas

“I am looking forward to next year’s Summer School because I hope I am a Buddy!”  Cara

“At first I was nervous, however the hospitality is amazing, and I could not dream of a better school. I also love the way summer school has helped me grow and make great friends. Thank you”.  Xirone

Into University trip to Bournemouth University of the Arts

Thanks to our education partner, Into University, a group of KS3 students spent 4 days this summer at Bournemouth University of the Arts.


As well as meeting Graduates and Lecturers, they did workshops in photography and creative writing and also spent time chilling on the beach.

Tarahan in Year 9 enjoyed it enormously. “It has boosted my confidence working with young people outside school.” 

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