AMSI Blog 2019-2020

Welcome to Arts & Media School Islington blog 2019-2020 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.


From March of the 2019-2020 school year, AMSI followed the government guidance and went into lockdowns and enforced restrictions on travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, our students rose to the challenge of home learning. We have compiled some of the great work produced by the students during this time.

Excellent Remote Learning


Girls Active at the Sobell Centre

To celebrate International Women’s Day and to promote the Girls Active programme, the Sobell Centre provided a free day of sports taster sessions for female students attending secondary schools in the local area.

Our PE teacher, who has been organising lots Girls Active events over the past week, took a group of girls from years 8-10 to the Sobell Centre to try a variety of sports including ice skating, softball, boxing, yoga and trampolining. As they moved from one sport to the next the girls clearly had a lot of fun and certainly proved that This Girl Can!

Year 8 Art Trip to the Royal Academy of the Arts

We took 30 year 8 students on a reward trip to the Royal Academy of the Arts to visit an exhibition entitled Picasso and Paper.

The Gallery also facilitated an accompanying workshop with activities relating to the pieces on display and with the help of their volunteers showed our students around the show in small groups of 4 to discuss the art they could see.

Returning from the exhibition we saw some truly inspiring pieces of collage and drawing work come out of our talented young students. They represented the school very well on their trip and all students enjoyed their time outside of the classroom.


EAL Students visit Westminster Kingsway College

To support the transition of our EAL students onto Post 16 education when they leave AMSI, a group of our students went along for a tour of the building and to hear about the wide range of courses and services available to them in September 2020. Westminster Kingsway College, based in Kings Cross, also hosted a Music Production session for our students to give them a taste of college life and learning. 

Students enjoyed the day and gained a greater understanding of what it would be like to attend a college, understand the college environment and the expectations of greater responsibility and freedom to follow their aspirations. We even bumped into a few of our students who went there last year and it was wonderful to see how our students have matured and are now enjoying their new choices of study.

KS4 Drama Students’ Trip to a West End Theatre Show

A group of KS4 drama students were lucky enough to go to London’s west end to see the musical ‘Everyone’s Talking About Jamie’ at the Apollo Theatre. It was a fantastic show tackling themes of bullying, aspiration and the trials of family life, all with a song and dance!

The students were thoroughly entertained by the wonderful performance and will be using the experience in their final exam as they must provide a critique of a recent performance that they have been to see. It was another example of the great opportunities that are available to children living in this amazing city!

Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge 2020

Following the success of Keji last year, Arts & Media School Islington played host, for the second year running, to the Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge. The stage looked amazing and Keji took to the stage to introduce each of the speakers.

It was another incredible Regional Final with an evening that was packed with original and insightful ideas from many young speakers from the majority of the secondary schools in Islington. We are incredibly proud of our entries, Roderick and Olivia from year 10 and also Jameil and Xirone for their dance performance at the interval.

Thank you to Mr Cross for organising another great AMSI evening. Congratulations to all the speakers on the night who all showed great courage, confidence and passion and we would like to give particular congratulations to the winners on the night!

Regional Champion: Nogaye from Highbury Fields School
Runner-Up: Cem from St Aolysius RC College
Third: John from Central Foundation Boys’ School


IDEA Qualification

9E have completed a bronze award in the IDEA qualification. This qualification is an international programme that helps you develop digital, enterprise and employability skills.

People who do the qualification can gain industry recognised awards and will make you stand out from the crowd when applying for colleges, universities and getting a job. Due to the success of this with 9E it will now be done across year 9 with the Computer Science department.

Tate Exchange Experience

Mr Castillo took a group of Year 8 students to the Tate Modern to take part in the Tate Exchange experience.

They delivered a workshop to general public on how to create blank masks inspired by their morning visit and the participants had to pay them with fake money that was printed on their arrival. The students represented our school with excellent behaviour and great commitment.

Mock Exam Results Day

On 13th January our year 11 students eagerly received their Mock Exam results.

We are now able to reveal the five students with an average grade of 6 or higher in 8+ qualifications but who will be our AMSI scholars at the end of the year?

Well done to the Mohamed, Finn, Mariam, Yassine and Mehbuba for the incredible hard work that you have put in so far.

We hope that the all the students are now aware of what needs to be done to ensure the best results in the actual exams in June/July and are inspired to dig in for the final push.


AMSI Unplugged

The musical talent in this school reached an all time high on a night when we had nineteen performances of a various styles of music.

From a beautiful classical piano performance of Chopin’s Nocturne in C sharp minor by Tristan in year 10 to a powerful rendition of Sia’s Titanium by Keji and Michelle in year 11 the performances of all the students was quite possibly the best we have seen in this school.

A special mention must go to Maria in year 7 who not only sang and played guitar for her performance but actually wrote the piece herself. And what an incredible song!

All the performance are available to view on the playlist below:

Senior Citizens’ Christmas Lunch

We were delighted, once again, to welcome to our school, local senior citizens for a Christmas meal and entertainment from our students. Also attended by the Mayor of Islington, our canteen staff cooked a delicious traditional Christmas roast with all the trimmings.

We have been celebrating Christmas with local pensioners each year now for the last 15 years and it is wonderful for our students to serve the meal and perform as Respect is one of the four cornerstones of our community.

After the meal, our year 10 dance students put on a special performance of their dance, ‘Bad’ and two of our year 8 students performed a piece of music.

It was a great day which also coincided with Christmas Jumper Day on which a lot of our students and staff wore Christmas Jumpers to raise money for Save the Children. Merry Christmas everyone!

Robotics Club

Every Friday the Computer Science department run robotics club for selected year 8 and 9 students.

On 6th December, we had the privilege of the Shadow Robot Company coming to pay a visit to AMSI. The students gained an insight into the company and discussed the developing world of technology. They also brought along their robotic hand to let the students explore the mechanics and technology, such as the finger tip sensors.

It seems that the science fiction of previous generations has become the reality for this generation.

Year 10 Dance Performance: Bad

On the 5th December our dance department staged a wonderful performance of Bad: The Untold Story of Little Red Riding Hood and The Big Bad Wolf. The dance show was performed by our amazingly talented Year 10 dancers and was even largely choreographed by them!

The audience were amazed by the beauty and storytelling of the dance and athleticism of the students as they told the story of Little Red Riding Hood from the perspective of the wolf.

Congratulations to all the students for putting on such an incredible show!


Black History Month Celebration Evening 2019

Mr Wallen and Mr King put together another great evening of talent which was compered by a team of wonderful students.

We had singing, dancing and poetry performances all topped off by another of Mr Wallen’s incredible voice belting out show stopping song. It is always a joy to see our students enjoy themselves and perform and recognise the amazing contribution of the BAME community to our country. Fantastic!

Year 10 Art Trip to the Horniman Museum

The art department took our Year 10 art students to the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill.

Like Arts & Media School, The Horniman Museum is a supporter of the Artsmark awarded by Arts Council England. They provided a fantastic learning session in their education centre using items from the museum. The students were given museum objects to handle, draw and photograph to explore shape and texture.

The students had a wonderful time taking part in the workshop which was of great benefit to their GCSE coursework. It also provided a great environment outside of the classroom for the students to work in.

Anti-Bullying Conference

As part of Anti-Bullying Week 2019, we took a group of Key Stage 3 students to the Laycock Centre for an Anti-Bullying Conference.

The conference allowed students from several schools in the borough to share their ideas on how to tackle bullying in schools. They also took part in workshops on online safety, accessing support and staying safe outside of school. Their ideas have been fed back to the borough and will influence policy change around the issue of bullying.

The students also took part in the presentation competition. They impressed the judges with their creative rendition of A Christmas Carol, that told the story of a young bully who realised she needed to change her ways. Students were praised for their creativity, confidence and talent. Subsequently Arts and Media won the presentation competition and were awarded by the Mayor of Islington!

Year 7 Rewards Trip to the Wonderlab at the Science Museum

Ms McHale, Head of Year 7, took 30 students from her year group on a reward trip to the Wonderlab at the Science Museum.

The students and staff had a fantastic day exploring the Wonderlab whilst learning a thing or two about science and engineering.

Thanks to all the students for all their hard work so far at AMSI. Keep up the good work and there will be plenty more rewards to come.

Careers Talks

Colleges have been visiting our students in lesson time. As a change from whole school assembly or a Careers Fair, it was intended to give students a more interactive and focused session in their area of study.

It truly is a great opportunity to work with all our opportunity providers to support decision making through real interaction and enrich the opportunity experience.

“ADA provided our year 11 Computer Science students with a fantastic insight about what they can offer. They made our students aware of careers in Technology and how they can cater for students who want to pursue into a particular avenue with technology. ADA is a unique college that specialises in the field of Computer Science.”
Mr Rahman: ICT

‘Informative and realistic. It was an eye-opener for students as the presenter was clear in clarifying mis-conceptions linked to studying RE beyond KS4. Students were engaged throughout the session and expressed their appreciation at the end.’
Mr Wallen: RE

Year 8 Cultural Trip to Elthorne Peace Garden

Our PSHE department joined up with the Extended School to take a group of Year 8 students to Elthorne Park to visit the Phillip Noel Baker Peace Garden.

As part of their study of the nuclear debate, the students took a look around the park with its various symbols of peace and particularly the plaque to commemorate the people who lost their lives in Hiroshima and Nagasaki to understand the horrors of nuclear weapons.

Key Stage 3 Boys Badminton Team Crowned Champions

We are delighted to announce that Kamarie, Muntik, Abdur-Rahman and Rayan won the KS3 Islington Badminton competition that AMSI hosted on 5th November!

Well done to Mr Errington and the PE department and to the fantastic KS3 badminton team!


Speak Out Challenge Workshops

Things are getting serious now for our year 10 English students as preparations get underway for this year’s Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge. After winning the regional finals for the last two years running, the pressure is now on to see if we can take the title for a third year.

Our newest team of hopefuls have taken part in a Speak Out Challenge workshop to develop their confidence in speaking in public. They also sought to pick up tips on the content of their speeches and how to respond to an audience and most important of all is to come together as a team to support each other regardless of who is chosen to present in the finals.

We wish them all the best in the run up to the finals, which have now been rescheduled to 6th February 2020 due to the general election.

Denmark Trip 2019

We would like to give a huge thank you to the staff, families and most of all the students of Ugelbølle Friskole. It was the third year in a row that we took a group of sixteen of our students to Denmark to meet and stay with the families in Ugelbølle and they all had such an amazing time.

It really is absolutely wonderful to see youngsters from completely different cultures coming together and sharing their stories and way of life and having so much fun. It is an experience that will be with them for a very long time.

The people at Ugelbølle Friskole put in so much time and effort to make sure that all the students have a positive, educational and entertaining visit and we are truly grateful. We look forward to seeing you in London soon.

Wider Reading in KS3: Mirrors & Windows

“Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined… Windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created or recreated by the author… however, a window can also be a mirror…and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences.” 

Rudine Sims Bishop (1990)

KS3 students have been exploring a range of fiction – through a wider reading homework project – which reflects ethnically diverse experiences and viewpoints. Students have been asking questions; making connections between their life experiences and those of the characters they are reading about; and responding creatively to each text. 

Do encourage your child in KS3 to talk to you about the extracts they have read. If you would like further information or advice about choosing diverse books for children and teenagers, please contact Ms. Zipfel (English Department). 

Year 7 Texts:

Year 8 Texts:

Year 9 Texts:

Bookbuzz 2019

There has been a definite buzz about books in the air this month as students in Years 7 and 8 made their personal Bookbuzz choices.
This is the second year running that AMSI have offered all of our Year 7 and 8 students the opportunity to choose their own book to take home and keep from a list of 17 titles. They are all carefully selected by a panel of experts at BookTrust  (the UK’s largest children’s reading charity) to ensure quality, suitability and to encourage reading for pleasure.

Year 7 International Evening

Schools are more than just exam factories. At their best, they are a community resource, where people come together and connect. This is what we saw at the annual AMSI International Evening!

International Evening gave year 7 parents a night to get together and 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.

Thank you all for your support!

What Career Live?

Our students joined thousands of other 15-19 year olds at ‘What Careers Live at Olympia’ last Friday 11th October 2019. This was an opportunity for students to participate in independent research and meet with employers, representatives from Universities, Apprenticeship opportunities and participate in a range of workshops such as ‘ Apprenticeship or University?’ or ‘What employers look for’

It was great to see our young people mingling, talking and spending time together, exploring and developing understanding of their options for the future. Students were asked to be ‘Professional’ at all times as a goal for them to make the most of this opportunity-and they were a credit to our school. We shall definitely be going again every year as it was an invaluable experience and very well organised and recommended.

FundaMentals World Mental Health Day

On Thursday 10th October, World Mental Health Day, we took a group of students to an event by FundaMentals which was to raise awareness of mental health and to celebrate how far we have already come.

The students who attended were part of the First Friday group, set up last year with Ashley Grey, and helped develop the campaign for FundaMentals which is part of a larger charity and is backed by many charities such as Children in Need. 

There was a live panel and some performances from spoken word artists, poets and rappers. Porshia in year 9’s work was also on display at the venue. 

Year 7 Football Team

On the 2nd October, our year 7 football team went one better and got to the FINAL of the Camden & Islington 6-a-side tournament where they lost 3-0 to Acland Burghley.

The highlight of the tournament was winning a penalty shoot out in the semi-final!
Congratulations to Tyler, Arthur, Nabil, Luis, Damario, Sachin, Adam,  Kareem & Salim.

Well Done!!


Year 8 Football Team

Congratulations to our year 8 football team as they made it to the semi-finals before losing 2-1 in a close game.

All students performed exceptionally well and it was great to see parents/carers supporting the team. Very well done to Gevan, Jeremy, Angelo, Roq, Light, Ciaran, Sebastian, Malachi, Abdirahman & Tyler (year 7)

A fantastic achievement to kick start the sporting season.

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