A great half-term ending with Prizegiving Celebrations

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For students both past and present, Prizegiving at Dowdales is always a very special day - a day when we all come together, students, staff, parents, carers, governors and friends of the school, to recognize and celebrate the many successes and wonderful achievements of our students. This year’s theme was ‘Our Community Values’ and there were more than 200 high achievers from all years receiving certificates and trophies. We are very fortunate to have the very best students, they really are exceptional. During our evening ceremony we heard from guest speaker John Macilwraith, Corporate Director of Children and Families Services, who gave an inspiring speech about community and achievement. During the evening we had performances from the Dowdales Shakespeare, Dowdales Singers, Boys Dancers, DYD dancers and a special performance of Billy Elliot The Musical. The ceremonies were a huge success and I would like to thank each and every student and staff member for the part you played in making Prizegiving such a fantastic day for everyone.

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This year’s Friends of Dowdales Sponsored Walk was held on Sunday 15th October and we were lucky enough to enjoy some nice Autumnal weather. It was fantastic to see all of our students dressed up and raring to go on the 5 mile walk from the school, through Dalton to Furness Abbey and back. Thank you to the many parents and carers who took part in the walk supporting your son or daughter and of course it was lovely to see the many family dogs who joined us too. The Friends of Dowdales will hold their next meeting on Wednesday 1st November and you are welcome to join them. The next event run by the Friends is their ever popular Christmas Hamper Bingo which will be held on Tuesday 21st November.

We held a seminar for our Year 11 parents and carers focussing on key dates, resources available to students and guidance about having revision plans in place. This is a really important time of year for our Year 11 students and it was fantastic to see parents and carers at the seminar in support of your son or daughter. If you were unable to attend you can view all the information given at the seminar in the Parent/Carer section of our website.

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We held a Drop Everything and Read session last week. All students and staff were encouraged to stop what they were doing and read for ten minutes. It was a great opportunity to promote reading and encourage literacy discussions between students and staff across the school in all lessons at the same time.

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Students learned to save lives this term thanks to Restart a Heart Day 2017, the nation’s biggest mass CPR training event. The school welcomed volunteers from the North West Ambulance Service and other local care providers who gave up their own time to deliver the lifesaving lesson to 200 Year 8 students. The lesson included a short presentation which outlined how to recognise a cardiac arrest, how to do effective CPR and how to use a defibrillator to give someone in cardiac arrest the best possible chance of survival. This was followed by a practical element where every student practiced their new skills on a CPR manikin. The aim of the day was to create a nation of lifesavers throughout the UK, and we are extremely proud to be a part of such a worthwhile campaign.

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On the 12th of October a number of primary pupils joined some of our Year 7 students to take part in various activities ran by the Happy Puzzle company. All the activities were based on encouraging Growth Mindset and resilience in problem solving. The pupils really enjoyed the practical aspect of the puzzles and had to use team building skills ensuring that no one gave up. The feedback has been really positive with one primary school emailing ‘The pupils couldn't stop talking about it on the way back and were eager to talk to their friends about the different puzzles. It was lovely to have such a focus on Growth Mindset and perseverance as this is something that I believe to be crucial to their development’.

To sport and our Under 13 girls football team have had a great start to their season winning the first round of the Cumbria Cup against Chetwynde. They then went on to play St Bernard’s in the second round of the Cumbria cup and won 5- 0. Congratulations to the team for your hard work.

Our netball team represented Furness and the South Lakes in the regional round of the National Schools Netball Championship after winning the local competition. Dowdales won 3 out of their 4 games, beating Austin Friars, Keswick and Kirkby Stephen, taking the team through to the semi-final against Cockermouth. Despite defeat in the final match the team worked exceedingly hard and did Dowdales proud. Well done to all of our sports competitors this half-term for representing the school. I look forward to bringing you news of our sporting fixtures in the coming half-term.

Looking ahead to next half-term we have lots of events to look forward to. Here are some dates for your diary:

  • Wednesday 8th November – Year 7 Parents Evening
  • Wednesday 8th November to Friday 10th November- Students from Nehalennia School visit
  • Tuesday 21st November - Friends of Dowdales Christmas Hamper Bingo
  • Wednesday 22nd November – Year 10 Parents Evening
  • Wednesday 29th November – European Christmas Markets
  • Wednesday 13th December – Christmas at Dowdales
  • Thursday 14th December – Year 7 Carol Service at St Mary’s Church, Dalton

It only remains for me to wish you a very good half-term holiday and enjoy what remains of the Autumn days with your family and friends.

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