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"Amongst the 100 top performing schools based on sustained improvement in level 4+ performance"
"The school rigorously tracks the progress of students in reading, writing and mathematics and has good systems for helping all students to succeed."
"Students enjoy coming to school and have very positive attitudes to learning."
"Pupils are polite and courteous to each other, staff and visitors."
"Senior Leaders are ambitious and determined"
"The curriculum is broad and well planned, providing students with good opportunities to promote spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding."
Equality Superstars 
March 2015

In recognition of Bothal’s excellent contribution to the fight against prejudice we have been invited to take part in an E-stars project which will lead to Bothal becoming one of the first E-star schools in the county.
As part of the project, Year 5 pupils received a visit from ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ and took part in workshops which aim to: educate young people about the causes and consequences of racism; empower young people to challenge racism in the communities in which they live, providing them with knowledge and information to do this; help young people prepare to play an active role as citizens in an increasingly multi-cultural society; enable young people to develop good relationships and respect the differences between people, regardless of their ethnicity, faith, culture or nationality.
Students took part in a range of interactive activities where they learned about prejudice towards minority groups and ‘Football and Fitness’ sessions delivered by ex-Leicester City player Trevor Benjamin. Pupils had an enjoyable and informative day and we look forward to welcoming the team back to work with Year 7 pupils.
Further workshops will be delivered in school over the coming weeks on racism, homophobia, stigma and mental health and the impact of prejudice and discrimination. We hope to invite friends, family and community members to the school later in the summer term to view the work that our pupils have produced as part of our E-Stars submission.

Ski Trip by Jacob Brotherton Year 8 

February 2015

This year’s ski trip to Les Menuires was amazing; we had every weather condition from blizzards to boiling heat! Pupils and staff met at the airport at 4.30am, departing at 7am and landing at Geneva at 10am. Then we found out that a boulder the size of a minibus had blocked the only road into our resort. There was huge disappointment when we realised we would have to spend the night in Albertville (where the 1992 Winter Olympics took place). By morning the road was clear and we made the long bus journey to our hotel. We went straight into ski fit and a rainy 3pm lesson, so we only missed two hours of skiing.
Day three was another rainy day which turned into quite heavy snow. The beginners spent the day on the nursery slopes learning how to slow down, while the advanced group skied down a few blues, the second easiest slopes. There were falls in both groups, but that’s what skiing is about. Bad weather meant ‘Tough Mudder’ (an outdoor obstacle course) was cancelled instead we had a mocktail challenge which Team OK won. Everyone enjoyed their first full day of skiing and couldn't wait for the next.
By day four the weather had turned into strong blizzards and there were a few bright red faces from the pellets of snow being whipped about. Fortunately the snowstorm cleared and everyone took part in bum boarding, and a trip into town for gifts and food. Day five and not a single cloud in sight, the weather was perfect. No one was prepared to be baked in the sun and after two hours of ski school we were sweating buckets! The beginners skied down their first green and were ecstatic about it, while the advanced group skied down their first red of the week, all thoroughly enjoyed it. That night we had a really good time in the Fun Park - an indoor soft play with trampolines, football nets and much more.
By day six no one thought it could get better but it did, the sun was shining and the views were amazing! The beginners skied down some blue runs and the advanced group tackled a black run which was so steep it would be hard to walk down. Fabrice, Baptice and Roman were the best instructors we could have asked for! The night time activity was called ‘Speed Mountain’ (a roller coaster in the snow) and before we knew it, it was time for our last sleep in the mountains.
Thank you to the teachers for their card tricks, pool skills and passport jokes! We had the best of times and I'm sure that everyone would love to be back in the mountains.

Budding Reporters 
February 2015

Some of our Year 6 students had the privilege to practice their interview skills on gymnast Craig Heap. They found out a lot about his career and successes, including being Captain of the England team, his time at the Sydney Olympics and the achievement of winning 14 British titles. Students are now working on creating a biography of him, which will be marked in line with their writing targets. Shayla said, “I think it was a really good experience to meet him and find out about his career.”

Developing Reading and Writing 

6th March 2015

On Friday 6th March, teachers and pupils at Bothal Middle School dressed up as book characters in celebration of World Book Day. There were some fantastic efforts, which made it incredibly difficult to decide who would win the fancy dress competition!  
World Book Day is an annual celebration of reading for pleasure and, in addition to activities organised in school, all children received a £1 book token to spend on a book of their choice. As part of the celebration, families of Year 6 children were invited to a coffee morning where they could have an informal chat with the English team and work alongside their children to complete a series of reading and writing tasks. This proved to be a huge success with one grandparent saying, ‘I found the exercise interesting and very much enjoyed working alongside my grandson, learning the approaches towards Literacy and the way it is taught today.

Toy Appeal 
December 2014

On behalf of the charity committee, I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who brought in toys for the Christmas appeal.
We had such a huge (and quite overwhelming) response to the appeal that we felt it right to split the toys to two charities: RVI children’s ward and St. Oswald’s hospice. There were over 200 toys brought in! Because of your generosity a child will have had a better Christmas. I am truly humbled at the amount of toys donated, proving that Bothal really is a caring place!
The students who were chosen to represent the school did so in a mature and caring manner. They showed empathy and respect to patients, parents and staff, and it was commented on that they were an asset to the school. Thank you so much, Miss Broomfield.

Hancock Museum - Year 6 Visit 

December 2014

As part of their enquiry into the impact the River Nile had on Ancient Egypt, children in Year 6 took part in a visit to Great North Museum: Hancock. The Egyptian Gallery in the museum houses a plethora of artefacts, including jewellery, scrolls, conopic jars, a large statue of Sekhmet and not one, but two mummies - Bakt en Hor and Irtyru! The children explored the artefacts and exhibitions about Ancient Egypt, took sketches and photographs and gathered lots of valuable information for use back in the classroom.
The children were also able to explore the story of our planet in greater detail through displays on Hadrian’s Wall and the Ancient Greeks. A 'Bio-Wall' featured hundreds of animals from across the world and the children came face to face with a life-size T-rex skeleton.
The success of the visit was only possible due to the support given by Friends of Bothal and Wansbeck who kindly funded the transport for the visit, the staff at the museum and the children, whose enthusiasm and appetite for learning led to a fun, safe and enjoyable visit for all those involved.

Year 5 Bothal Winner 
December 2014

We have yet another winner from Bothal Middle School for the Town Council Christmas Light Competition. We are proud to announce that Faith Pearson’s beautiful picture of a Christmas Cracker has been made into a fantastic light to be displayed in the town centre. Her design will certainly brighten up the winter days and give festive cheer. Very well done Faith.

Spook-tacular Event 

November 2014

Congratulations to all those involved in organising what was a wonderful family evening at Bothal to celebrate Halloween and Guy Fawkes. It really was a tremendous evening with loads to do, stalls and a funfair to enjoy, all rounded off by a truly spectacular professional fireworks display. 
The event was organised by the Friends of Bothal and Wansbeck with the support of staff from the two schools. The money raised totalled £1,025 and will be used for the benefit of the students.
The volunteer organisers clearly put a huge effort into pulling a spectacularly successful evening together. Well done to everyone involved. We do hope you and your family had a fantastic evening.

Sky Sports 'Game Changers' 
October 2014

12 of our students appeared on the Sky Sports’ television show ‘Game Changers’ on Saturday 11 October along with former world champion boxer Johnny Nelson and world modern pentathlon champion Samantha Murray.
The show, hosted by Darren Campbell, was an amazing opportunity to meet professional sports stars to find out what inspired them to take part in sport and to participate with them. The weekend also involved the children working in the Sky Sports News studios to create their own ‘Breaking News’ report.
Mr Hewitt said “The trip was a fantastic experience for our pupils. To be able to meet and interact with sports stars was a once in a lifetime opportunity. The pupils were amazing throughout the whole weekend and a credit to the school.”
“Our London weekend was superb! I enjoyed it and could not have wished for anything more than to be on TV. The Sky Sports news report was definitely the best by far, being a TV presenter was amazing. The whole trip was great and I would love to go it again.” Jessica Prothero

Year 6 Plessey Woods Visit 

October 2014

As part of their enquiry into how rivers change, children in Year 6 took part in a field visit to Plessey Woods Country Park to look at the river and its features. As well as improving their outdoor skills in orienteering and shelter building, the children carried out a detailed survey of a section of the river. As a result, they were able to collect valuable evidence for use back in the classroom.
The success of the visit was only possible due to the support given by the wardens at Plessey Wood and the children, whose enthusiasm and appetite for learning led to a fun, safe and enjoyable visit for all those involved.

A bright future for education in Ashington  
October 2014

The Governing Body of the Ashington Learning Partnership (ALP) is proposing a change of school organisation. The rationale behind the proposal is that of extending provision and driving continuous and sustained improvement for the benefit of families across Ashington and the surrounding areas … not just for the next few years but for many years to come.
The ALP recognises that it cannot stand still and must lead change in partnership with local people and other organisations. The proposed change involves moving from a 3-tier system of schooling to 2-tier by using all existing main school sites and with effect from September 2015. At our governing body meeting on 1st October, following consideration of the views of pupils, parents, staff and the public, we agreed to move to the next stage of the process which is to issue statutory notification of our intention to close our middle schools and extend the age ranges of our current first and high schools.
The Ashington Learning Partnership is committed to delivering the best possible education for children and young people. This is an exciting time for the Partnership with already good school provision and a fierce determination to improve further by creating ‘outstanding’ schools.
Chris Smith Chair of Governors - Ashington Learning Partnership

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