Welcome to Arts & Media School Islington blog 2017-18 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.
End of Year Music Concert 2018
It was another show of talent from our incredible music department and music students. It was particularly inspiring to see so many new faces for the solos showing that, although some great musicians are leaving us from year 11, there are some rising stars coming through and showing us what they can do.
Congratulations to all the students who performed and continue the hard work because judging from this concert, it’s well worth it!
Sports Day 2018
It was another great day for the annual AMSI sports day! After the entire school made their way to Finsbury Park athletics track, races were run, javelins thrown, shots put, jumps jumped, sweats broken and sandwiches eaten.
We all had a lot of fun in the process and the weather was glorious for athletics. Well done to all the students who all took part in at least one event.
The Great Debate
On 3rd July, four of our Key Stage 3 students attended The Great Debate at the House of Commons. Organised by the RSPCA, Tristan, Olivia, Thomas and Tyler took on the subject of ‘Animal Export’ in the debate with teams from other schools from across the South East.
This is the first debate event for young people focusing on animal welfare to be held in England and at Westminster itself.
The students had prepared to go head to head over the issues of live exports, tougher sentencing for animal cruelty offenders, keeping primates as pets and using wild animals in circuses.
Prior to the event, David Allen, head of education at the RSPCA, said: “The Great Debate is an opportunity to encourage young people, and adults in Westminster, to talk about some of the pressing animal welfare issues.”
“It’s vital that we open up the debate on animal welfare to the younger generation and it will be very interesting to see the attitudes and opinions of students.”
Mr Allen added: “At the RSPCA our aim is to develop informed, responsible and compassionate citizens of the future, and this event gives young people the opportunity to explore some of the pressing welfare issues facing animals today and in the future.”
Well done to all the students and Mr Wallen (Head of RE) for organising our delegation.
Year 10 MFL Barcelona Trip
We took a group of 14 AMSI MFL students to visit Barcelona for 5 days to provide the students with a great experience that also allows them to build up their confidence using Spanish in a native speaker’s context.
We stayed in a Hostel behind Gaudi’s La Pedrera, in the city centre where the students enjoyed lots of activities such as visiting la Sagrada Familia, Camp Nou, a tour around the City as well as a day on the beach.
The main activity of the trip, however, was a one day exchange to the Spanish Secondary School “IES Lluis Domènech i Montaner” in Canet de Mar (Barcelona). Students from this school visited Arts & Media School in May.
Students were not only exposed to the language (ordering, asking for directions,…), but also the culture by attending a Flamenco Show and eating in a typical Spanish restaurant.
For most of them it was also their first big trip away from their families and this forced them to acquire other life skills such as managing their own budget and getting along with people outside their comfort zone.
Their behaviour was excellent and we all had a great time.
We are already looking forward to going again next year.
Natxo Castillo and Rakhee Dattani.
On Friday 22 June, Arts & Media School Islington and Islington Greenspace celebrated the 10th Anniversary of TEA IN THE PARK.
This event, which brings together senior citizens and young people for tea and conversation, started in 2008 when Islington Greenspace approached the school to create an intergenerational event.
Students prepared a traditional English Tea and Lavin from Year 8 baked a cake which was served in Wray Crescent complete with Bingo, Line Dancing, Performances and received a Certificate and Thanks from the Mayor of Islington. The weather was so good that even the King turned up to join in the fun.
Leavers’ Assembly for Year 11 2018
It was with a heavy heart and a great sadness that our Year 11 students said farewell to the school as we looked over their last five years at Arts & Media School.
With the last of the exams completed and a final thought from their Head of Year, Mr Truman, Head of Pastoral Team, Ms Begum and Headteacher, Ms Service the students made their official last exit from AMSI. There then came the traditional signing of shirts before heading off for the best summer holiday that we often ever get. They next meet up at the leavers prom on 22nd of June and we wish them all the best and happiness for the future.
On Monday 11th June a selection of our Year 8 & Year 9 most able students visited London School of Economics for an Aspiring College Education session.
This session is designed to give students a taster of life at one of the top universities in the world and provide them with the motivation to aspire to succeed in their chosen scholarly pursuits.
Students represented AMSI with pride and confidence and had a great day.
AMSI’s year 9 future GCSE Media Studies students took part in an interactive workshop last week with professional creative advertising company Y&R London.
Workshop leaders, Amy and Jacob, taught our year 9’s about how to get into the creative media industry, showing them examples of the adverts they have produced on the big screen. The pupils then used the knowledge and skills from the session to create ideas for their own adverts. Y&R thoroughly enjoyed working with our students and found them very creative and eager to learn.
Well done to the year 9’s for showing your creativity and innovative ideas!
Legal & General Everyday Monday Programme
Our Year 10s had a financial Maths session from Legal & General – it was a two hour session to help the students understand finance for the future.
The session ran alongside the curriculum and answered that question that every adult asks themselves, “Why didn’t I get to learn about this at school?”
So the students learned about wage slips, paying tax, savings and credit cards. The session was highly interactive with the use of technology and real life bills. A great session to help with a financial life skill that they will absolutely need in the future.
Years 9 & 10 Trip to the Park Theatre
We took a group of our year 9 & 10 drama students to see Faceless at the Park Theatre near Finsbury Park Station.
It was an immensely thought provoking and relevant play that had our students engrossed from start to finish. As a court room play the audience then had the opportunity to decide the verdict of the accused which proved to be quite a tricky decision for the students. Was the accused a victim of manipulation or responsible for her actions?
Wear It Out 2K18 Fashion Show
Students and Staff stormed the stage with an incredible Fundraising Event in aid of Save the Children.
Year 10 devised and programmed a sensational show with Fashion Catwalk, Singers and Dancers. They raised over £350 for their chosen charity and it was such a success that we hope it will take place every year.
Congratulations and well done to Nicolae and his team for a night to remember! Very cool indeed.
Danish Students Visit AMSI
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. They also treated our students, including those students who visited their school earlier in the school year, to a stage performance in our theatre. The Danish students then went on to enjoy some free time in the Sobell Centre trampoline park
District Athletics Sports Day Success
We are really pleased to announce that the girls came second and the boys came first in the borough at the District Athletics Sports Day in Finsbury Park. We must admit, it is the first time in years that the boys have beaten St. Aloysius boys school, who’s specialist subject is sport, overall.
Well done in particular to Robert, Nahum, Keji, Jayden & Muadh who took part in numerous events when others couldn’t attend. These individuals helped us achieve the great results by putting the team, and not themselves, first. As Michael Jordan says, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.”
Year 7 Girls Football Team Award
Congratulations to the year 7 girls football team who won the Islington and Camden fair play award!
They were awarded the trophy by the C&I borough girl’s football development officer. We would also like to say well done to all the girls in years 7-9 who turned up for football training. The development officer was rather impressed to see 30 girls enjoying football.
Keep up the great work!
Geography Field Trip 2018
On Friday the 27th of April the year 11 geography students braved the elements to complete their fieldwork investigations. In the morning, along with Mr Page and Mr Hogarth, the students strolled down to the Islington Ecology Centre in Gillespie Park to assess the health of the ponds there. In this hidden gem students successfully discovered a number of indicator species that signified that the ponds were in good health.
Following an enjoyable lunch break the students found themselves on the familiar Holloway Road, tasked with assessing the quality of life in the local area. In order to do this the year 11s collected data about the traffic flow, pedestrian counts and environmental quality. As the rain worsened students and staff jumped on the 153 bus and headed to Barnsbury to complete a second set of area quality surveys. Enabling them to start to make comparisons about different wards within Islington
At the end of the day students returned to AMSI in time to attend their AIM sessions, showing great character after a long day!
Well done to all those involved and a particular thanks to Mr Page and Ms Parker for their support.
Count On Us Maths Challenge
On Friday 27th April 2018, five year 8 students represented AMSI for the London Mayor’s Count on us challenge. This is a London wide challenge where students compete with other schools on numeracy skills, use of geometric puzzles and algebra skills.
The students have worked incredibly hard to prepare for the challenge by attending a number of after school/lunch time sessions. Although we didn’t get through to the next round we got very close and we are sure we will do it next year!
The students were:
Tyler 8B • Alex 8B • Jude 8C • Tarahan 8E • Molly 8B
AIM HIGH Trip
On April 26th, Year 8 Into University students spent the day at Wadham College, Oxford University.
They identified specimens at the Pitt Rivers Natural History Museum and handled live Madagascan hissing cockroaches! Jealous?
Girls Trip to Lords Cricket Ground
At Arts & Media School Islington we recognise that one of the greatest educational tools we have at our disposal is the wonderful city in which we live. So when we wanted to promote cricket to our girls it was a great opportunity to take the years 8 and 9 girls on a school engagement day to the most famous cricket pitch in the world, Lords Cricket Ground.
They had a great time watching 20/20 cricket and even playing some themselves as former England captain Charlotte Edwards says, “There’s no better time to be a female cricketer.”
Filming of Tennis Advertisement
AMSI had an exciting opportunity last week in which some of our pupils helped out! The Camden based advertising company (Y&R) visited the school to create a mini film as part of an ‘active life’ campaign. The idea was to show how easy and free it is to play tennis and keep fit… No court hire necessary! The company cleverly designed a simple ‘tennis wall’, where the minimum amount of players needed is just one, and the maximum..well, that depends on how big the wall is! Here are some great action shots of our wonderful pupils here at AMSI giving it their best effort. We definitely discovered some tennis related talent… watch out Wimbledon!
To say thank you, Y&R London have not only donated brand new tennis rackets and balls, but will also be visiting the school after the Easter break to give a workshop on the TV and film industry! This will be an amazing professional insight into what goes on behind the scenes.
Well done to the following excellent pupils! Thank you for showing us your skill and talent!
Porshia • Dilon • Kamarie • Salmon • Amina • Qiana • Sabrina • Adrian • Samir • Sumaya
Charity Runs in Finsbury Park
Well done to all the students from Year Groups 8 & 9 who took part in the charity runs around Finsbury Park to raise money during Sport Relief 2018!
We were grateful that the weather was very well behaved for us as the students set off to run, or walk, the entire lap around the park to raise as much money as possible for the charities.
We are still counting up the cash and waiting for it all to come in so we will publish the total as soon as we know. Whatever the final figure, the students had a lot of fun and it was great to see them getting out of the classrooms and getting some exercise and vitamin D whilst raising funds for some great causes.
Y11 Unsung Heroes – Rewarding exceptional effort in Y11 for English & Maths
What better way to battle the ‘Beast from the East’ than with a warming mug of hot chocolate?
That was the reward for our Year 11 Unsung Heroes who have been recognised for their exceptional effort in English & Maths.
Of course the welcome treat is just the beginning of their just desserts as the real reward will come on 23rd August, results day!
Science Trip to the LookOut Centre
On Wednesday 7th March, a group of year 9 students visited the LookOut centre in Hyde Park where they were able to plan and carry out their own ecology investigations.
Students carried out stratified sampling of a pond and found a range of specimens, including a newt! Ipads with microscope connections were used to see the diversity of aquatic organisms they found up close and in detail. In the afternoon, students did their own systematic sampling using a path transect.
International Women’s Day
To celebrate International Women’s Day, Accenture sponsored a fantastic STEM NETWORKING LUNCH for our girls.
We were joined by 12 amazing professional women from the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. They generously shared their stories with Year 10 students and after lunch 10 students were awarded prizes for outstanding achievement and progress in Science & Maths. Then girls from Year 8, 9 and 10 watched the film ‘Hidden Figures’, the untold story of the Afro-American women who worked for NASA in the 1960s. Thank you to everyone involved for an incredible day!
Whole School Dance Showcase
On 22nd February Arts & Media School staged an epic Dance Showcase with performances from all year groups. In total, sixty students took to the dance floor in no less than thirty-five individual dance pieces which were choreographed by our dance teacher, Ms Stephanou but also by the students themselves. This represents ten percent of the entire student body all performing on one evening.
The talent on display was truly outstanding and the staging of the event was as great an undertaking for the school as we have ever attempted which was testament to the work, dedication and commitment to her subject of Ms Stephanou. Also the time and effort put in by the students themselves, mostly in their own time outside of school hours and throughout the half term holiday was exceptional, inspirational and truly representative of the ethos of Arts & Media School Islington.
It was also and emotional night as a group of students dedicated one of the dance pieces to Louella Michie, ex AMSI student and daughter to one of our governors, who sadly passed away at the end of last year. Louella had worked as a dancer and choreographer with the students who wanted to show their appreciation of their time together.
Well done to all the dancers, to all the staff who helped out on the night, to all the people who came to support the dancers and especially to Ms Stephanou who is already planning the next event.
Honey in Year 10 Elected as Islington Young Mayor
Islington’s new young leaders have been elected and are ready to speak up for young people across the borough on the issues that matter to them most.
Congratulations to Honey in Year 10 on her election to the position of Islington Young Mayor!
“I want to focus my time as Young Mayor on promoting sport and getting more coaches into schools. Sport is really important for giving young people opportunities.”
BAE Systems Roadshow
Year 7 reached for the sky last week when the British Aerospace Engineering Roadshow amazed them with Robotics; iphone Technology and Royal Navy Battleships which are all programmed through Mathematics!
Year 7 First Aid Course
The British Heart Foundation haw awarded our school special CPR (CALL/ PUSH/RESCUE) kits, which we are using in PE lessons to train students how to SAVE LIVES by using the CPR technique.
Every student will receive a certificate and wristband to acknowledge their life-saving skills.
Year 11 Drama Trip to see The Woman in Black
Mrs Harris took her year 11 drama students to see The Woman in Black at the Fortune Theatre in Covent Garden.
There was a few screams from the audience but the students really enjoyed the spooky performance to a packed theatre. They will now be required to write about the dramatic elements of the play in their drama exam in a few months.
KS3 Badminton Team Represents Islington Borough at the London Youth Games
Well done to our KS3 Badminton team who represented Islington at the London Youth Games tournament.
Well done Jude, Joshua, Robert & Nahem! We are very proud of you.
Year 7s take part in SCIP Career Showcase
The entire year 7 students took part in workshops organised by the School Career Intervention Programme.
The showcase gave the students a chance to talk to professionals about their careers choices working in the service industry such as the police, nursing and the Royal Air Force. It also introduced them to people working in the private sector such designers, music lawyers and hip hop artists, who then gave a performance for the excited year group in our theatre.
It was a wonderful day and certainly would have given our youngest year group food for thought.
KS4 watch performance of Shadow Games
Our KS4 students watched a hard hitting drama performance titled ‘Shadow Games’ in the theatre performed by the Second Wave youth theatre company.
Taking care not to single out any religious or minority group, the play tackles the subject of online manipulation and bullying, extremism and radicalisation. The Shadow Games project is a Home Office supported initiative looking at the ways in which young people can be influenced and drawn into risk taking situations without realising it. The students were then engaged in a discussion into online radicalisation and were able to ask any questions that they might be concerned about.
Sobell Centre trip to the new trampoline extreme park.
As a reward to our KS3 scholastic programme students, we took the top 40 to the new trampoline park at the Sobell Centre.
The trampoline park has only just opened and our students were some of the first to try it out as they had worked so had to complete various stages of the Scholastic Programme which runs alongside and enhances the school curriculum.
The challenge is now on to see who will be the next group to be rewarded for the work that they put in and to gain the recognition that they deserve.
Labour Leader praises student’ Active Citizenship
We were delighted that Jeremy Corbyn made time to visit AMSI because constituents had praised our partnerships with Crisis at Christmas, Solace Women’s Aid and the British Heart Foundation.
Mr Corbyn met a group of young people who are actively involved in raising awareness and funds for charitable organisations which address inequalities in health; homelessness and violence against women. Students spoke about their causes with pride and passion, impressing Mr Corbyn with their understanding of the wider world. They discussed the importance of basic human rights and how young people need to engage with issues facing their communities. He presented the students with Active Citizenship certificates in recognition of their involvement and commitment and urged them to continue their good work.
Headteacher Ms Susan Service who chaired the discussion with Mr Corbyn, welcomed his visit:
“We are a caring community and this is recognised by Ofsted. The nurtured ability of our students to empathise with the social concerns that charities champion is a credit to their development into respectful and responsible young citizens in society. I am very proud of them as they are a credit to our school“.
Christmas Jumper Day
Mr Cohen, our new Head of Year 10, helped to get the school in to the festive spirit by getting everyone to take part in Christmas Jumper Day and to raise money for the wonderful charity, Save the Children.
Staff and students alike joined in the fun donating money to Save the Children and wearing all sorts of colourful Christmas Jumpers. The spirit and atmosphere around the school was bubbling over with excitement of the holiday season just around the corner.
End of Autumn Term Music Concert
On 14th December Arts & Media School presented another wonderful evening of classical and contemporary music to a thrilled theatre audience. With just under sixty performers on stage it was a spectacle to behold.
What we are particularly proud of is, not only the range of of musical talent but the range of year groups from seven through to eleven showing their passion for music and the amount of work that they have put in. We now look forward to the next concert in the following term to see how they have evolved.
Videos to follow
Christmas Card Making Workshop
On the 12th December Art Club students had a fun and festive evening making their own Christmas cards.
As well as creating cards for their family and friends, students also worked together to design this years AMSI Christmas card. So with as much glitter, sequins and pompoms we could get hold of the students got crafty!
The AMSI Christmas card – made up of mini artworks from each of the students.
Well done to all the students who took part!
Miss Wood & Miss Di Maria
Senior Citizens’ Christmas Lunch and Entertainment
For the past twelve years we have provided a special Christmas lunch and show for local elderly residents of nearby nursing homes.
This year, along with the delicious meal provided by our wonderful catering people and the amazing singers and dancers from the creative arts department, our guests were treated to a drama performance by the KS3 Drama Club. The short play was based on the famous Christmas truce on the battlefield in World War 1.
It was a wonderful and moving performance which the audience enjoyed where the performers were joined on stage at the end of the play by a local veteran from the second World War. We are very proud of our young actors, not only for their amazing talent, but for the maturity and respect that they showed today.
Azana from Year 10 Wins Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge Islington Region Final
We are incredibly proud to announce that Azana of Arts and Media School Islington Year 10 was crowned the winner at the 2017-18 “Speak Out” Challenge! Islington Regional Final with a speech entitled ‘Kiss My Teeth’. Congratulation Azana!!
Well done also to Honey of Year 10 who delivered her speech at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson school in front of a panel of judges and audience.
MFL Trip to the Royal Academy
Our year 10 French and Spanish students visited the Royal Academy on Piccadilly to see the Dali and Duchamp exhibition.
This was the first exhibition to throw light on the two artist’s surprising relationship and its influence on the work of both artists and fitted perfectly with AMSI’s ethos of creativity across the entire curriculum.
Voting in the Islington Youth Councillor Elections
Arts & Media students took to the polling booths on Wednesday 29th November to vote for their candidate for the Islington Youth Council.
Honey from year 10 has held the post for the last two years and was hoping for re-election for another term but faced stiff competition from Nicole and Aaliyah. Good luck to all the candidates and we look forward to hearing the results.
Year 7 watch the Riot Act performance on road safety
Our year 7 students enjoyed our PSHE drop down day as they watched a performance in the theatre by the Riot Act about road safety.
Year 8 & 9 Art trip to the Jean-Michel Basquiat Exhibition
The Art department took a lucky group of year 8s and 9s to the sold out exhibition at the Barbican showing the work of the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.
They discovered the explosive creativity of one of the 80s most famous, and ultimately tragic, art and graffiti pioneers who worked alongside other great artists such as Andy Warhol and Keith Haring. It was a great day and the students learned a lot from the exhibition and even managed to pop into the Museum of London before returning to school.
A massive WELL DONE to our Islington Badminton Champions, Nathan, Jude and Joshua, who played in the Key Stage 3 badminton tournament on 13th November.
They were undefeated and have now earned a place at the London youth games in February where they will represent the borough!
Black History Month Celebration
Another great evening was had by all at the, ahem.. slightly late, Black History Month Celebration.
We had some wonderful performances from our pupils as well as a graceful dance from Ms Mcleod and another show stopper from Mr Wallen. We also had the pleasure of a surprise performance from MOBO award winner, Lupine Cato and what a performance that was. Lupine blew the roof off our theatre, repairs are currently under way. This was all followed by some deliciously spicy Caribbean food; Ms Swaby’s Uncle Alfred’s patties were a particular highlight. Well done to all the organisers and performers of the evening and Mr King for pulling it together.
Danish Cultural Exchange
We would like to thank parents for their support and encouragement that enabled us to take 24 students from Years 8, 9 and 10 to Denmark at half-term.
Students experienced a very different culture and lifestyle; they developed new friendships, they shared their skills and exchanged ideas with confidence and performed to a very high standard which impressed everyone who saw their showcase of music and dance.
Families were ‘delighted’ with their ‘host’ student and this was evident on the day of the performance when the Theatre was packed with ‘host parents’ excited to watch ‘their children’ perform.
We are now starting to plan the exchange visit when the Danish school visit London in April 2018.
Year 10 Art Trip: Soul of a Nation
As part of Black History Month the Art Department took the Year 10 GCSE students on a trip to visit the Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power exhibition at the Tate Modern.
The students spent the day exploring the gallery learning about Black History through Art. A very enjoyable and thought-provoking day was had by all.
District 6-a-side Tournament
Nahum and Robert from Year 9 performed very well at the district 6-a-side tournament on Wednesday 13th September and have been invited to attend the first Islington and Camden district side training session coming up soon.
Well done lads!
Whittington Park Big Day Out 2017
On 9th 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.
For the second year running, Arts & Media School joined in the fun with music and dance performances from our students and a wonderful musical performance from our ex-student, Charlie.
Well done to our dancers, Karina and Shanice, and musicians Merian, Brendan, Max!
Rosie Kay Dance Company
During the summer holidays, Isaac 11D, Nicole 7A and Olivia 7F auditioned to be part of the Rosie Kay Dance Company. Rosie Kay Dance Company was looking for young talented dancers to be part of their next performance piece entitled “5 soldiers”; a thrilling and humane portrait of army life telling the stories of five men and women serving on the front line.
All three students performed exceptionally well and had their first glimmer what it takes to be a professional dancer on stage in front of live audience.
I am so very proud of these students and all of what they have achieved.
Head of Dance: Ms Stephanou