Welcome to Arts & Media School Islington blog 2016-17 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.
AMSI Pride Celebration
On Friday 7th July, we celebrated our first AMSI Pride. It was organised by Ms Hazeldine’s diversity group which started in April.
It was a truly amazing and moving event. All the students who attended were lovely and supportive and created an open, accepting and happy atmosphere. Students from the group performed (many of them for the first time) and put on a great show. Coming out in school is still very challenging, and many young LGBT+ people do not. To be out openly at such an event (and even whilst onstage singing!) is incredibly brave, and shows how supportive the group have been to each other, and how other members of the school community have shown their support. There was also a surprise performance from the incredible voguer Jay Jay Revlon, what a show!
Maths TTRockstars wrangle competition
On Friday 7th July a group of 6 year 7 students were part of a TTrockstars event in which 50 London schools took part. During this day, students competed on their times tables and maths puzzles as well as taking part in having a “rockstars photo” and an Air guitar competition.
The students were really well behaved and thoroughly enjoyed the day doing Maths activities. Olivia won the Air guitar completion and is the London champion.
Dr Sandrine Claus Talk to Year 10 Students
On 3 July, Dr Sandrine Claus from the University of Reading gave a talk on ‘The bug in your gut’, to our Year 10 students.
The students enjoyed the presentation asking questions at the end. Hopefully this not only made them think about how the food that they eat contributes to the way they feel but stimulated their interest in Biology.
Year 10 Drama Students perform at the Rich Mix Theatre
On Thursday 29th June, our Year 10 drama students spent a day rehearsing and performing at the Rich Mix Theatre in Shoreditch.
Along with five other schools, they performed their devised play ‘Duppy’ for the Barbican Box project. They showed great confidence staging the spooky show which sets them up for their final year in drama. Well done!!
Soul in the City
Ms Mannion took her Vocalise choir group down to St. Mary’s Church on Upper Street for the Soul in the City festival on 10th June.
They performed along with other schools and adults in the open air festival singing classics such as ‘Be My Baby’. Then it was Ms Mannion’s turn as she performed with her band. Oh, she’s rather good.
Well done Vocalise!
KS4: Year 10/11 Additional Maths Exam
Three students have completed the GCE Additional Maths qualification (equivalent to an AS). Tam (Year 11), Mazin (Year 10) and Race (Year 10) have all sat the advanced exam and look forward to their results.
They all attended a day at Legal and General with the Head of Maths, Ms Dattani, to study before the exam and also experience the corporate environment. The visited the stocks trading floor and spoke to employees of the firm. They also met the CEO of Legal and General who was really impressed with them. Well done guys!
Carnegie Book Awards Ceremony
Well done to Fathia 9C, Jannet 9D, Faisa 9D and Meysa 9D for their presentation and video at the Carnegie Awards Ceremony hosted by our Arts & Media School on Monday 19th June.
The Carnegie Medal is a British literary award that annually recognises one outstanding new book for children or young adults. This year’s prize went to ‘Salt to the Sea’ by Ruta Sepetys and the guest speaker at the event was Children’s author Sita Bramachari!
Success for the Boys Cricket Team
Well done to our boys cricket team, we are currently top of the league after beating St. Mary Magdalene Academy on 25th May with 7 balls to spare!
Year 10 Science Lab Ambassadors at Pakeman Primary School
Year 10 students, Kelsey, Race, Amir and Leanne, have been taking part in Pakeman Primary School’s brand new SHINE Science Lab where they support Year 5 pupils with experiments.
They volunteered to support the Science Teacher in this after school club and have attended for the last 4 weeks and will continue to after half-term. Its fantastic to see our students ‘shine’ in this way and wonderful to see how much the younger children enjoy working with them.
Trip to the Barbican Theatre – Year 10 Drama
The year 10 Drama pupils visited the Barbican on Thursday 18th May to watch Jude Law in Ivo Van Hove’s production of Obsession.
This pupils witnessed an outstanding example of how all the production elements for example projection, sound and set can be used to create a ‘whole’ piece of theatre.
Mayor of London’s Count on Us Secondary Maths Challenge
On Friday 5th May, AMSI students took part in the first heat of Mayor of London’s Count on Us Secondary Maths Challenge. Not only did we get through to the semi-final, we came FIRST PLACE in the heat! Well done to Mohammed, Finn, Ibrahim, Jay and Murad.
The Count on Us Secondary Challenge is a unique, pan-London maths tournament for Year 8 and 9 pupils delivered in partnership with the Jack Petchey Foundation. By combining a series of mental arithmetic and problem solving tasks, the Secondary Challenge helps pupils become confident mathematicians, developing mathematical fluency and improving problem solving skills.
Teams are then selected with five pupils chosen to represent their school in local tournament heats, with qualifying schools making it through to the semi-finals and grand finale at City Hall.
Sir Matthew Bourne praises school’s commitment to creativity
Guests at the Trustees’ Education Lecture on Thursday 27th April were treated to a very open account of Sir Matthew’s personal journey and career in dance.
Sir Matthew praised the school’s young dancers who performed and offered to send in professionals from his company to run workshops.
Head teacher Ms Susan Service opened the evening by reminding the audience of the severe cuts facing educators next year and the negative impact this may have on the arts in schools, “We cannot imagine a world where pupils lose their entitlement to be taught mathematics or science, but nationally we allow Arts education to be marginalised almost to extinction. Sir Matthew Bourne’s Lecture affirms our school’s commitment to the debate of Arts education in our schools today.”
The event was attended by more than a hundred guests and raised funds towards extra-curricular activities for students which supports our commitment to creativity in the curriculum.
Danish Exchange Visit
We were delighted to welcome students and staff from Ugelbølle Friskole, an independent school in Denmark, to AMSI for a cultural exchange. They spent the day sharing lessons with Year 7 and prepared a delicious lunch of Danish delicacies.
AMSI students are looking forward to a return visit in October.
Year 7 Residential Trip to the Lee Valley
We took 65 year 7 students to the Lee Valley for two days of fun and activities in the spring sunshine.
In weather we would expect in summer, our year 7s enjoyed canoeing, climbing, crawling through caves and generally relaxing in the sunshine as they escaped from the city for a couple of days.
Mary Seacole Statue Celebration
Last year Arts & Media School Islington was privileged to participate in the campaign to erect a statue of Mary Seacole outside St. Thomas’s Hospital.The campaign was led by Professor Elizabeth Anionwu who inspired students by sharing the similarities between her life in medicine and Mary Seacole’s.
In June 2016 the statue was finally unveiled and Elizabeth Anionwu has been awarded in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list, she is now a Dame.
To celebrate this occasion, Arts & Media School put on a celebratory evening with Dame Elizabeth as our special guest of honour on Thursday 23 March 2017.
There was entertainment from our pupils and a show stopping performance from, RE Teacher, Mr Wallen. As he showed at the Black History Evening Mr Wallen has plenty of soul.
UKMT Maths Challenges!
Recently AMSI achieved 5 Awards at the UK Mathematics Trust (UKMT) Intermediate Maths Challenge.
- Mazin – Silver Award (Also Best in School and Best in Year)
- Rayan – Silver Award
- Nicole – Bronze Award (Also Best in Year)
- Diego – Bronze Award
- Omar – Bronze Award
We also had a group of four students, Mohammed, Finn, Ibrahim & Jay, participate in the UKMT Junior Group Challenge (Year 8 and 9) in Pimlico on Tuesday 14th March. The four students were fantastic ambassadors for AMSI and they did a great job.
The UK Mathematics Trust (UKMT) is a registered charity whose aim is to advance the education of children and young people in mathematics. The UKMT organises national mathematics competitions and other mathematical enrichment activities. This is a great achievement for the students to achieve these Awards competing with over 40,000 pupils nationally.
They will be told and receive their certificates in their assemblies.
Drama Students Visit Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
On 3rd March, the year 10 Drama class and 9D visited Shakespeare’s The Globe Theatre to watch a performance of The Taming of the Shrew.
The pupils experienced a true rowdy and raucous Shakespearian play full of love and tension!
Year 8 Visit Wadham College, Oxford
Thanks to our partnership with education charity Into University, 25 Year 8 students spent the day at Oxford University where they interviewed undergraduates, toured the college grounds and participated in a lecture and debate.
The majority of students said the experience had inspired them to want to study at that level and were particularly excited to hear about the courses that included living abroad. Wadham College is one of the founding partners of the North Islington Centre which is based at our school.
Music Performance at the Barbican
On Tuesday evening 27th Februaury our YR10 GCSE music group plus six YR9 string players performed at the Barbican Box event.
Playing on the main stage at the Barbican at an event hosted by champion beatboxer Bellatrix, they were performing a piece written collaboratively by the YR10 students.
We would also like to mention that, even though she wasn’t performing, Charlotte from year 10 composed the section from 6 minutes 25 seconds to the end and Mya from year 10 (who is slightly hidden by the string players) was incredible on the bass (not least as she’s only just started learning).
Our students were truly exceptional and you can view the performance on our music gallery.
North Islington Nursery’s International Evening Vocalize Performance
Vocalize students were invited to perform by North Islington Nursery at their International Evening last week. Ever willing to support and engage with our local community the performers turned up with their djembes.
Ms Mannion ‘s talented singers and drummers performed 2 short African pieces. It was a lovely evening with everyone enjoying the tasty food and entertainment.
Year 7 Girls’ Netball Team
Congratulations for the incredible effort of the year 7 girls’ netball team. They came second in the Camden and Islington Netball league beating some tough opposition.
They were narrowly beaten to the title by St Marys Magdalene who had two teams and who they drew to on the first game they played. They won 6 out of 8 games which is a fantastic achievement from the girls. Well Done to Yusra 7F, Olivia 7F, Karina 7E, Erica 7C, Nicole 7A, Armina 7D, Jaida 7B, India 7D, Blessing 7E & Sophia 7F.
Students blown away by RAF Roadshow!
Year 9 students were wowed by the Royal Air Force Education Road Show which visited school to promote careers in engineering and design.
Highlights included an air turbo machine, a drone demonstration and a jet engine simulation. Ms Henry, Head of Science said she was delighted with the professionalism of the Road Show team and that her students were inspired by the experience.
Arvon Foundation Residential 2017
Fourteen talented KS3 students left the city for a whole week of creative writing in the forest covered hills of Shropshire as guests of the Arvon Foundation, a charitable organisation that promotes creative writing. They stayed in a 19th century building that has been recently renovated in Hurst which is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
English teacher, Ms. Renton, organised the residential trip for the third year running as the last two years have proved to be so successful and such valuable experiences. They are set up to allow the students time and space, away from the many distractions of London, to let their imaginations and thoughts flow onto the page.
“The students are completely immersed in thinking, writing, analysing and reflecting. They are coached by professional writers and work in a university style with one to one tutorials and small group discussions. They also live together and cook for each other which is an amazing experience in such a unique setting”. Ms. Renton
A special thanks to Mr Clark for his work throughout the week and in helping to make it such a successful trip.
Arvon and the tutors (Roger and Carina) have complimented us on how sensible, polite, and hard working our students were and how well the week went. The students represented our school very well.
“I wanted to thank you (Ms. Renton) and the school for the wonderful Arvon experience. My daughter had an amazing time, learned so much and felt so confident and empowered by the workshops, the interaction with the adults and her peers throughout the week.” Year 7 parent
Christmas Music Concert
What better way to see in the festive season than an evening of wonderful musical performances!
Our students took to the stage to play classical, pop and soul music with group performances from our Years 8&9 string orchestra, Year 9 ukulele group and our choir, Vocalise. There was also solo performances from Davina, Brandon, Max and Jayden.
You can view the concert on our music gallery.
Speak Out Challenge 2016-17
Congratulations to our Year 10 Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge Finalists. Rayan and Amir represented AMSI at the regional final on the 5th December at Mt. Carmel College.
Islington really raised the bar as eighteen speakers took to the stage to put over their stories and causes. We are very proud to announce that Rayan took the third place slot after going up against some stiff competition.
First place went to Saskia from Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School and second place went to Amina from Highbury Fields School. We would like to offer our congratulations to them and to all the other competitors for their passion and bravery.
Well done to Ms Campbell and the English Department who have also worked and assisted students in their preparation.
Art Club Animation Workshop at the Royal College of Art
Ms. Wood took eleven of her Year 7 & 8 art club students to the RCA for a workshop on stop-frame animation as part of the ReachOutRCA programme.
Organised by artist Jasleen Kaur, who worked with us on the Art on the Underground Project, the workshop gave a brief insight into stop-frame animation used in the film industry before getting down to practical work in creating 2D backgrounds followed by claymation figures.
The students then used cameras and animation software to create a brief animation film. It was a wonderful opportunity at one of the country’s top Art colleges.
Cultural Trip to the Southbank
Many of our students feel that, despite living in one of the world’s greatest cities, they don’t get enough opportunities to get out and explore what London has to offer. At Arts & Media School we consider it an important privilege that we are a school in this great city and that our students should be given as many chances as possible to explore it and see it beyond the local boroughs.
For this trip our students went down to the River Thames to walk from St. Paul’s Cathedral, across the Millennium Bridge, along the Southbank taking in the Christmas markets and back to the Strand.
Christmas Lunch for Local Senior Citizens
On Friday 9th December we had our annual Christmas lunch and entertainment for local senior citizens. For the past eleven years Arts & Media School Islington has invited elderly people from local nursing homes to a Christmas feast served by our students. There was also performances from Ms. Mannion’s Vocalise choir, who sang Christmas carols and songs, and Ms. Stephanou’s dancers, who performed some beautiful dance routines for their audience.
“Thanks and congratulations to the AMSI staff and students for organising an excellent and entertaining community Christmas lunch this past Friday. The students put on an excellent show, particularly the carol singing before and during the meal and the entertainment in the theatre. It was great to see some of the incredible talent and excitement of our students.”
Vocalise Charity Carol Singing
The spirit of Christmas was in full swing at the weekend as Ms. Mannion took her school choir, Vocalise, down to the N1 centre in Angel to sing Christmas Carols to raise money for Marie Curie Hospice.
Every Christmas, Marie Curie Nurses care for people living with a terminal illness through the night, letting them spend this special time of year at home, with their loved ones.
We a very proud of Vocalise for their effort and charitable spirit as they broke the record of money collected for Marie Curie in 1 hour, raising £462.93!!
Well done Vocalise!
Mapping Crime Day
Our Year 7 students were treated to a rare visit from the Air Helicopter Team as part of their studies on the Geography of Crime.
The £1.5m helicopter landed in Wray Crescent for students to interview the team about how they gather intelligence and respond to emergencies. They were joined by the Tollington Ward Neighbourhood Team which explained how police resources are deployed using local data and what makes a crime ‘hotspot’.
Mr Maghrabi, Head of Humanities, who organised the day said, “We really appreciate these services giving this valuable insight into how weather conditions, time of day and location play a part in the pattern and prevention of crime. Watching the Air Helicopter circle the area and land opposite the school was very exciting for students and staff!.”
Year 9 Drama Trip to the Donmar Warehouse Kings Cross to see Henry IV
“If all the year were playing holidays,
To sport would be as tedious as to work“
After a workshop run by the Donmar Warehouse, Head of Drama Mrs. Harris took twenty two of our year 9 students down to the Donmar Warehouse theatre in Kings Cross to see an amazing, all female, production of William Shakespeare’s Henry IV.
With five star reviews this production starring Harriet Walter, Jade Anouka and Clare Dunne brought the male roles of Shakespeare’s play to a women’s prison and had our year 9 audience engrossed and at times jumping out of their seats. It was an amazing experience and wonderful way to see Shakespeare in action. Thoroughly recommended.
Into University Opens 22nd Centre At AMSI
We were delighted to see so many influential educators and guests at Into University’s opening of their new Centre on our school campus.
Our students are already benefitting from their After School Study Support twice a week and Year Groups have begun their Focus Day events. This partnership is of enormous benefit to our school community and we are delighted that it will continue for the next 5 years.
Year 8s Win Anti-Bullying Award
We are delighted to announce that the Y8s came 1st at the Islington Council Anti-Bullying Conference, with their LIVE COMIC STRIP about Power for Good. They participated in round table discussions and were exceptionally well behaved.
Congratulations go out to: Kye, Sahin, James WP, Chelsie, Shyheim, Hayley, Bonar.
They were up against 6 other schools (Mary Mags, Highbury Fields, Holloway, EGA, Sam Rhodes and Highbury Grove). The message of their piece was “You don’t have to be a SUPER HERO to stand up to bullying”.
They received their prize (a day at The Emirates) from The Mayor of Islington.
Fastest Schoolboy in Islington
Congratulations to Adam of 11A. He is officially the fastest runner in Islington as he topped the Islington Schools Running League Table!
We received this message of congratulations from Zac at the London Heathside Athletics Club:
Thank you to all the schools and officials who attended and helped with the Islington Schools Running League race on Monday at the Emirates Stadium.
Full results have been available on the website since Tuesday morning, but I delayed sending this message because I wanted to include the top 15 all time rankings, which are now attached. Congratulations to Adam Bessadi (Arts and Media School, Islington) and Luca Minale (Mossbourne Academy) for running the 3 laps faster than anyone who has gone before.
Barbican Art Box
We took 36 Year 9 & 10 Art students down to the Barbican to take part in the Barbican Art Box project.
They spent the day at the Barbican Centre where they visited the fashion exhibition titled ‘The Vulgar’ which focuses on the challenging territory of taste in fashion and also plays with our own perceptions of what is vulgar in terms of what that means and what that says about us.
From this, the students took inspiration to go out into the Barbican and take their own photographs of people whose fashion style they liked or appreciated. This ongoing project will work towards producing a magazine and exhibition which will be on sale and available to the public in the coming months.
Art on the Underground
The work is now on display in Finsbury Park Underground Station. On Wednesday 9th November the students and the artist officially opened the display.
This project explores the artists’ filmic journey along the Victoria Line, above ground, along with shops and cultural sites along the Line as inspiration for the pupils to produce 3-D products or souvenirs to be presented in their local Underground station.
Black History Month Gospel Evening
Mr. Wallen, our RE teacher, pulled out all the stops for this year’s Black History Month celebration with an evening of music, caribbean food, poetry and more music!
On stage Mr. Ashorobi took to the mic to introduce the performances as we kicked off with Miss Mannion’s ‘Vocalise’ choir. They were followed by poetry readings by the students and then the staff and students gospel choir, accompanied by Miss Mannion (Miss Mannion has had a very busy week!).
We then welcomed back to Arts & Media School, Jermain Jackman who gave a beautiful performance of ‘I Know Where I’ve Been’ from the musical Hairspray. He then performed an impromptu duet with Kyrell Pule-Maye from year 8. The evenings entertainment was topped off with Mr. Wallen and his band, which included his son on drums, giving an uplifting performance including ‘By the Rivers of Babylon’ by Boney M which had most of the audience on their feet dancing in the aisles!
The evening didn’t end there as the celebration continued with a feast of delicious caribbean food prepared by Mr. Wallen and Mr Lawson.
What a night!
Year 7 International Evening
It was another night of fun, food and entertainment on our annual International Evening!
As part of Parent Engagement Week, it gave year 7 parents a night to get together and a share their food from around the world. It was also a great way for them to enjoy a more informal evening to meet the teachers and tutors of the year group. There were wonderful performances from the school choir and Miss Mannion, our new music teacher, and a short drama performance of Roald Dahl’s ‘James and the Giant Peach’.
Whittington Park Big Day Out
On 24th September Whittington Park hosted its annual Big Day Out! The Big Day Out is a community festival with all sorts of fun activities, shows and craft stalls for all the family.
Arts & Media School was more than happy to join in the fun with our musicians and dancers performing at the event.
Our students represented our school extremely well in both performances and behaviour. We’ve have already agreed to repeat the success next year.
This is what the organisers had to say:
On behalf of our board and all the WPCA team, I’d like to say a big thank you to your school for sending some of your year 8, 9, 10 and a post year 11 student to perform on our music and dance stage at The Big Day Out, our community festival that we produce once a year in Whittington Park. You can be very proud of your students who turned up on time and performed beautifully on the day. The students were Keji (yr 8), Dance group Julia, Thalia and Umera (year 9), Brandon (year 10) and Charlie (year 11, last year).
We estimate that around 1,500 came to the event and we were really pleased to be able to offer so many activities, different entertainment and interesting stalls for people to visit. We’ll be posting up photos on our website shortly.
We hope we can partner with AMSI in future events and thank you once again for participating in this year’s Big Day Out.
Year 9 Football Team
A big congratulations to the year 9 football team who came third in the Islington and Camden 6 a side tournament on 14th September.
They won their group without conceding a goal but unfortunately lost 1-0 to St. Aloysious in the semi final.