MICHAELMAS and the celebration of Michael Hall’s 90th birthday
A Waldorf education acknowledges certain special days of the year and as we approach Michaelmas – a time that asks us to make rigorous preparation and find a balance for that which is dying and dark, and there is an excitement within, a sense of anticipation that every day will be momentous this academic year. Michael Hall School will be turning 90!
On behalf of the school and its community we thank a lovely group of Alumni who have donated 1000 daffodil bulbs, a gift to Michael Hall. Each and every pupil will participate in planting them and when the Autumn harvest is complete and the opposite side of the year arrives, in Spring, it will waken our souls to the joy of rebirth and the celebration of life!
MICHAELMAS and the celebration of Michael Hall’s 90th birthday
Today we welcomed back four of our Alumni who came to regale our Class 11 and 12 Students with their experiences of University life and share some insightful advice.
The informative and interactive talk which was followed by a lively Q&A session was led by William Harvey, who studied a Master Degree at Nottingham University in Chinese Studies and is now working in the City of London, Jonathan Goodwin, who studied Physics in Kent, Martino Testi-Westlake who attended Oxford Brookes where he studied a Music degree and is now pursuing a Song-Writing course in London and Isobel Harvey who is about to embark on a Fine Art Degree at the University of Newcastle.
Topics such as the UCAS application process, course and university choices, student finance, life on campus and Gap Year opportunities as well as life after University were all discussed, which enabled Students of Class 11 and 12 to gain a better understanding of processes and ask any question they may have had on the topic by discussing with young people of their age who they can relate to.
We extend our sincere gratitude to Charlotte Harvey and William Forward who enabled this talk to take place, as well as gratefully thanking our Alumni for dedicating their time to us and offering our students such a vibrant and relevant experience.
Tickets here and purchase your tickets online.
So much fun was had by all, Singing in the morning, Team Building Games, Crafts, Birds of Prey Show, Bushcraft, Den Building, Circus Skills, Bonfire, Woodwork, Stilt Making and then Stilt Racing, Cooking and much, much more.
Here is a taster of some photos but please see our facebook page for more.
After a busy two years working on their Waldorf curriculum as well as a maximum of seven GCSE exams, the students of Michael Hall are yet again celebrating excellent GCSE results. With 37 students sitting a total of 229 exams, we are delighted to announce that 85% were graded at C or above. 83.7% of year 11 students gained 5 GCSEs including Maths and English and an impressive 37% of the results were A or A* grades. Of the compulsory subjects, English achieved 45.7% A and A*, with 83% A-C; Maths achieved 91% A-C and Science overall 80% A-C. Fantastic results!
Students excelled with a raft of high grades: Mirai Kato achieved4 A* and 3 As; Katherine Burgess 4A* and 2As; Clemens von Szczepanski 3A* and 3As; Jani Pritchard 2 A* and 5As; Lennox Smith 4 A*, 2A and 1B; Imogen Tribe; 1A*, 4A and 1B and Jon Francis Forward 1A*, 4A and 1B..
Congratulations to all our students, their teachers and parents for their hard work and well deserved results!
Full results here
Well done to all of our pupils who worked so hard and achieved so well in their A levels this summer. 32% of our students gained A* or A grades, with 86% having grades between C and A*. We were delighted that our students had an 100% pass rate for their A2 examinations.
Our congratulations go particularly to:
Caitlin Arthur who gained three As and is off to take up a place at the University of East Anglia to read English and Creative Writing and Maia Pritchard who achieved 2 As, a B and an A* in her Extended Project on Quilting.
We are particularly pleased this year with our Spanish results where students achieved A* and A.
Congratulations to all of the pupils and to the staff at the school for working so hard to support these results. It is important to note that, in addition to taking these examinations and achieving such impressive results the students have spent 50% of their time on a Waldorf, non examined curriculum providing greater breadth and depth to their education.
Full results here
Students from Class 11 have just spent a week at Botton, a Camphill community in North Yorkshire. They worked during the week alongside the residents undertaking tasks such as farming, baking, making yoghurt and cheese, working in the bio-dynamic seed bank and gardening. The students also had their lunches within the Botton homes with the residents and co-workers. This week is part of the Social Practical programme where students can experience a community where those with learning differences are enabled to live and work in a way where they are valued and can contribute to society. During the week the students began to look beyond the individuals so called ‘disabilities’ and meet the ‘person’ rather than their appearance or disability. As the week progressed many of the students began to realise that, rather than them ‘helping ‘the residents it was really a case of being open to learn how much the residents had to give/teach them. One student was lamenting her lack of physical strength in farming and a resident said ‘never put yourself down, we all have gifts that we can bring to each other’. Another student observed how important communities like Botton are as they enable people with a wide range of abilities and disabilities to work together for the benefit and enhancement of the community as a whole. This created several discussions about our own society and how those with disabilities are marginalised, stuck in care homes and how impoverished our communities are because of this. By the end of the week students were working alongside the co-workers and residents as a team delighting in the relationships that they had formed and the new understandings they had acquired. Many said that the commitment of the residents to their work inspired in them a much greater work ethic as every task was accorded real value and importance. This experience was a life changing one for many of the students and several are determined to return to Botton or other similar communities. We are so grateful to Botton for their openness in allowing this week to happen and our hearts are with them in the struggles they currently face to continue with their essential work on behalf of us all. Jo Reeves
Quote from Charlotte Roffey
"As the week went on many things changed. Acquaintances became friends, working became giving back to the community and perhaps most importantly my mind set was changed, I became more comfortable and felt more confident interacting and working with residents as well as co-workers and I started to see a side of myself which I never knew existed- this experience has left me open minded and has allowed me to be more self-assured in that I can adapt and approach new situations/circumstances with less fear".
Quote from Sasa Aksentijevic
"This trip has been an incredibly rewarding and beneficial experience to me and I feel that I have learnt many different skills about farming and working with people with disabilities. After this week I feel much more comfortable around people with special needs. There were times when the work was very intense but I kept going which I am very pleased I did, as it strengthened me and made me a more independent human being"
Quote from Rohan Stevenson
"By the end of the week I completely looked past any disabilities or differences in the people I worked with and this has helped me to be much more accepting of all people in my life and my usual environment. The work itself was physical and skilful (milking cows, making hay etc.) and for someone who is very much in my head I loved the connection I felt with nature and the animals that I was working with. It was wonderful to go to bed at night having done a hard day’s work and to be physically exhausted but emotionally fulfilled."
Quote from Laura Manning
One of the residents, a bubbly, friendly man with a great sense of humour, affectionately put his arm around my shoulder and said “I like you”. I asked him if he likes everyone, because he seemed to say that to quite a few of us. He replied that he likes “everybody”, and when I asked if there was nobody he found even a bit annoying, he repeated “I like everybody”. For me this just demonstrated the amazing attitude which seemed to prevail in Botton. I think that in our rather analytical, judgemental society this ability to see the best in people and like them for who they are is very important"
Quote from Fred Tweddle-Williams
"In evaluation of my time at Botton and my successes and failures in completing, my various goals, I would vote 100%, for both because I found it one of the most emotionally rewarding, and eye opening experiences of my life, eye opening due to the fact it deeply woke me up to the strength and courage shown by people with disabilities".
Class 10 work experience
We have just welcomed back the Class 10 students from two weeks work placements. On Monday and Tuesday they regaled their peers and Class 9 with tales of experiences. Some had long commutes by train – one even getting up at 5am in order not to be late! Three students cycled to their placements – one only 20 minutes but another 13 miles there and back! The range of jobs undertaken was incredible: from IT and business consulting, law, hotel, wildlife conservation, engineering, farming, charity, PR, Crown Prosecution Service, art gallery.....the list goes on. It was heartening to hear how they had adapted to the ‘world of work’ and also pleasing to hear that many had been offered holiday jobs following on from their two weeks. We are proud of how our students take responsibility (with some help from parents) in setting up their work placements and committing fully to expanding their skills. For many it gave them not only a glimpse into working life, but also what they did NOT want to pursue later in life.....
Charlotte Harvey, Guardian
Letter of Recommendation for Alice Swereda
To whom it may concern,
I am writing to recommend to you Alice who, whilst working as a residential volunteering at our eco-skills centre here on the Llyn Peninsula, has shown aptitude for many eco and traditional building skills and working as a good team member. Since she first arrived here to volunteer over a a month ago she has been involved in all aspects of all the eco building projects going on at the centre from carpentry to insulating and laying a floor to gardening and has shown a real talent for working with natural materials in particular woodcarving. In her spare time she has taken to the workshop and has been carving spoons and bowls.
From the beginning of May onward she has been helping to construct a substantial oak framed and straw baled new eco-visitor centre. She has accurately carried out the work and shown herself to be fully competent at directing her own work and at working effectively within a team of other international volunteers with the same positive, supportive approach and insistence on the highest of standards.
As the best company and a conscientious co-worker she has been a real joy to work with, as for her other talents: her delicious cooking and wonderful singing has kept us all in good spirits and well motivated. During the past month she showed courage - and considerable talent - to perform at public storytelling events held here in the roundhouse . She is a confident communicator and rings a special mood to the performances that has entranced the audiences.
I heartily recommend Alice to you as one of the best young volunteers that we have had the pleasure of working with. She is a confident and very able person and will bring a great deal of positive energy, enthusiasm and humour to every situation. There are not many tasks that I could not have happily delegated to Alice with the full confidence that she would work out how to carry it out to the very best of her considerable abilities. We were very fortunate to have her volunteering here at the centre and wish her the very best for her future.
I would be very happy to provide you with further detailed information about Alice’s excellent work here if you should require.
Kind regards, Dafydd J Davies-Hughes, Project manager, Felin Uchaf Centre
Letter of Recommendation for Katherine Burgess
I am very happy to send some comments on Katherine, who has just completed two weeks of work placement with us. Katherine was an absolute delight - a view shared by all of us at Manasian & Co. She is a bright, mature, articulate, positive girl. Her writing is clear and grammatical (!). She was willing to take on any task - from running to the stationers to editing copy. She stepped forward on things, not waiting to be asked. She used her initiative, coming up with suggestions, providing solutions for problems and completing tasks thoroughly and creatively. We have told Katherine that we would be happy to have her back again if she is looking for holiday work, and our only regret is that she has five more years of education before we can offer her a job!
Best wishes, Kate Manasian, Manasian & Co
A group of adults and I met on Sunday morning on the Valley Field and started the day off with leaf identification, while learning about their properties. With shelter building and fire lighting under our belts we then played some games to awaken us: learning the ‘fox walk’ and heightening our listening senses. We purified water naturally and learnt how to make it safe, finishing off the day by making stinging nettle fritters and baking bread in a Dutch oven. It was a lovely day, packed full of information and great survival tips, ideas for teaching children as well as learning how to use a bow-drill. I met some wonderful people and look forward to the next one. Thank you Vicki Mew on behalf of the group!
Watch this space for the next one!