Thursday, 25 October 2012

Top runners head for Sunderland as city hosts national champions

SUNDERLAND is set to welcome the country’s best runners when it hosts the National Cross Country Championships next year.

Athletes from across the nation are expected to line up at Herrington Country Park to compete in the annual event in February.

The sporting day will include a 10-race programme for both men and women, with races for five age groups ranging from Under 13s to seniors.

The starting area for the senior men’s race is expected to be 100m wide, with about 1,500 competitors going for gold.

Sunderland City Council portfolio holder for public health, wellness and culture, Coun John Kelly, said: “We look forward to welcoming competitors, spectators and visitors from across the country.

“This is a great chance to show everyone what a fantastic venue Sunderland provides.”

Olympic medal winner Mike McLeod helped promote the event, joined by Coun Kelly and a host of the region’s athletic clubs and school athletes.

The championships were last held in the city in 2007 and organisers hope to repeat the success of last year’s event at Hampstead Heath, London.

Councillor Kelly added: “We are all delighted that the English Cross Country Association has decided to return to the city.

“Their decision not only shows their confidence in Sunderland’s proven ability to stage high-profile sporting and cultural events, but also in the strength and enthusiasm of the local athletic and sporting community to support the event.”

Last year’s event in the capital attracted more than 4,000 competitors, with the same amount turning up to cheer them on.

Chairman of the English Cross Country Association, John Temperton, said: “We will work with the city council to persuade a greater proportion of people to travel north on this occasion.”

Monday, 22 October 2012

Kepier STEM Workshops

On Thursday 11 October, Kepier hosted Northern Architecture as part of their STEM enrichment week. Maths teacher Suzy Hall coordinated the activity week with the support of the STEMNET programme in the North East.

Two groups of fifteen Year 7 and 8 pupils were given an insight into careers in the built environment sector involving applied maths, such as architecture, urban design, surveying, landscape architecture, engineering and construction. Pupils were then challenged to design and build an outdoor shelter, exploring space, volume, surface area, shape and form. The outcomes demonstrate that pupils can successfully apply their maths skills and express their spatial awareness by taking part in a creative, practical activity.

All pupils felt that they had achieved within the workshops:

I used maths when measuring the length of the wall and to measure angles

I found applying maths to architecture was fun and I also made a trapdoor that I am very proud of

I used maths when working out the scale of the model, it really shows how we can use maths in real life

I had fun experiencing being an architect, I like model making and I am proud of my building

I didn't expect maths in reeal life to be as good as what I have experienced

Thanks and well done to all participating pupils. Thanks also to Suzy Hall and staff at Kepier and to Sam Steventon, STEM Outreach Coordinator with STEMNET.

Northern Architecture's Education officers, Emma Kench-Porter and Sara Cooper are both part of the STEM Ambassadors scheme.

The original article for this post can be found at

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Champions of Dance

Jordan Clark is currently in year 7 and is a member of Mr Marklew's Coaching Group.  During a conversation at lunchtime, she told me that her dance group had performed at the Royal Albert Hall in the summer holidays.  What an achievement!  She told me that they had also performed at venues such as Saddlers Wells and the Empire Theatre.  It would  be wonderful to learn more about this extremely successful dance group.

Monday, 1 October 2012

NSPCC fund raising

"Since returning back to school in September, learners at Kepier have been helping to raise money for the NSPCC. As part of the charity's fundraising efforts, they have been focusing on Childline which this year celebrates it's 25th birthday. Learners at school joined Mr Kilkenny and Mr Forsyth, as well as other staff in 'Bow-Tie Friday on September 28th. The money raised from this will contribute greatly to the £400 which Mr Forsyth is aiming to raise as part of his sponsorship after he ran in this years Great North Run."

Mr Forsyth and Mr Kilkenny are both from our History department.