Celebrating our World Challenge Expedition to Malaysia

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Our team of students and staff who travelled to Malaysia this summer to take part in their World Challenge expedition hosted a celebration evening for staff, parents, carers, special guests and sponsors. The group gave a presentation containing hundreds of photos of their trip as well as three showing videos, with footage of their jungle trek, their swim with the colourful marine life and turtles on the Pehentian Islands and their many adventures in-between. The group captured their amazing adventures in a fantastic way and I am in no doubt that their experiences and adventures were life changing and will last a life-time.

This term we have been welcoming Year 5 pupils from our cluster primaries. Pupils from George Romney, Burlington and Ireleth St Peter’s have taken part in taster days, meeting teachers, sampling lessons and eating in our dining hall.

The Friends of Dowdales hosted their annual Christmas Hamper Bingo event this term welcoming parents, carers, staff and families to the hall to compete in some light hearted Christmas themed games of bingo. Thank you to all who attended and supported our PTA.

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The school was once again transformed in to a festive European Market on Wednessay complete with stalls selling Christmas crafts and decorations, art, homemade jams, jewellery, cakes, textiles and more besides. Stall holders included parents, carers, local businesses and charities as well as stalls managed by students selling craft decorations made at their extra-curricular clubs. Thank you to students, stall holders, staff, Friends of Dowdales and members of the community for your contribution and support. It was a lovely evening.

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On Tuesday we held a special Maximising Achievement event for our Year 11 cohort. Students met with former students who are currently studying at local sixth forms in the area, completing tasks together and taking part in Q and A sessions. This event gave our current Year 11 a fantastic insight in to life after Dowdales and the important things to focus on when preparing for the future.

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Continuing our Year 11 focus, we held a Careers Fair for our Year 11 cohort and their families. Representatives from a wide variety of employers, training providers, colleges and universities attended to provide information about the post 16 pathways available. This is a very important time for our Year 11 students and the Careers Fair aims to assist with their choices regarding Further Education and career paths. It is important that both parents, carers and students have a clear idea of all the options available to them so that informed choices can be made. As part of the Year 11 careers programme, Dowdales invited participants from a variety of local employers, colleges and training providers, including BAE, Siemens, GSK and The RAF to act as interviewers and to introduce students to some of the skills needed to 'sell' themselves effectively. Students take these 'mock interviews' very seriously and there were certainly some pre-interview nerves in evidence but, the interviewers understood that this was probably the first experience of interviews for most students so they gently steered them in the right direction with encouraging feedback. The interviewers were particularly impressed with our students’ communication skills and positive outlook.

Tickets are now available for our festive musical concert ‘Christmas at Dowdales’ which takes place on Wednesday 13th December at 6.30pm. The evening is one of the highlights on the school Christmas calendar, and I do hope you can join us for another spectacular evening showcasing our students musical talents. Tickets are available via ParentPay or via our school office. For more information you can contact us on 01229 469800.

Please may I also draw your attention to the Mayor of Dalton’s Christmas Concert on Friday 8th December at 7pm being held at St Mary’s Parish Church. Incidentally, Dowdales students will be singing as part of the programme. Whilst in the church I would urge you to pay a visit to our Eco Craft Club’s Christmas tree, titled ‘Christmas Re-cycled’. This year the Eco craft club have chosen to raise funds for Cumbria Wildlife Trust.

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