Archived News for January 2014

Connor competes at British Open slalom at Lee Valley
January 31, 2014
By Connor Lenihan
I started kayaking at the Herts Young Mariners Base in Cheshunt when I was 9 and in February this year I began slalom training at the Lee Valley White Water Centre run by GB Canoe-ing. At first it was really hard to paddle on white water and I capsized a lot but after learning how to roll my boat back up I became a lot more confident and gradually began to improve and was then asked to join the Regional Southern Talent Academy.

The competition season began in March (2013) and I was competing in Division 4 at first but I soon worked my way through the divisions and finished the season in Division 1 last November. My last race of the season was at the British Open held at Lee Valley, it was very daunting to be competing against World Champions, Olympic medallists and top internationals but a great experience. I gained a good result on the Saturday and an even better one in the semi final on Sunday morning, but in the final I just wasn't able to challenge the much more experienced competitors. It was an amazing opportunity to take part in such a high calibre race and I know with all my training over the winter I'll be able to improve on my performance next time.

I have been to competitions all over the country including travelling to Wales and Scotland. Living in the south of the country we don't have any natural white water so to compete we have to do a lot of travelling but I have made some good friends and we always have a good laugh when we're away together.

At the White Water Centre I started training sessions twice a week on the Legacy course and then some flat water sessions on the lake. I now train on the Olympic course alongside some of the Great Britain team who are based at Lee Valley. It's really inspirational to be on the water with some of the top competitors in the world, Dave Florence and Richard Hounslow are the current World Champions and Olympic silver medalists in the Men's C2. All the GB team are very encouraging and often come along to coach us. Our head coach is Shaun Pearce, he was part of the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic coaching squad and is a former World Champion himself. Twice a week I do some core fitness training sessions with both Shaun and Marc Domenjo, a former member of the Spanish Slalom Team and World Cup Winner.

I have now progressed to the England Southern Super Regional Squad, I will be training all through the winter and am looking forward to using the new gym facilities that GB Canoeing have just opened. It's my target to win medals at both an Olympic and World Championships but first I have to concentrate on reaching the Premier Division, that's my next goal.
Holocaust Memorial Day
January 31, 2014
By Shriya Ruparelia, Year 10 student
On Monday 27th Jan our Year 10 RS class got to accompany the year 8s on an evening visit to a local Synagogue in Welywn Garden City, where we got to chat to two holocaust survivors.

It was very surreal, to hear two people who had escaped so luckily in the midst of one of the most horrifying periods of history.

They were a Jewish married couple who talked to us about how their families had suffered and eventually been freed. We got to hear about what it was like in a concentration camp, and what Germany was like as Hitler's reign had just started and what their lives entailed afterward. From the point of Hitler's election to when WW2 ended they were faced with challenges of prejudice and discrimination (which was our R.S topic at the time of the trip). They had lost German friends that they were no longer allowed to play with, they had lost family members to the torturous concentration camps and had suffered a great deal. They then took questions from us and other members of the Jewish community who attended the event.

Afterward we were offered refreshments and got to talk to the other people that were there – we shared our thoughts on what we had learned from Marion and Peter, the two survivors. We were very lucky to have had this experience and it is one that I will always remember.
Learn 2 Live scheme report
January 31, 2014
By Connor Lewis, Year 12 student
On Wednesday 29th January a group of sixth form students went to the Hertford Theatre. The 'Learn 2 Live' scheme has been running for several years where police officers, paramedics, trading standards and firemen shared their personal stories of past experiences involving traffic incidents. This was a very shocking, emotional and meaningful presentation which showed us the end results of traffic collisions and the effects it has had on their families. Personally I think this eye- opening experience was extremely useful, making me realise the dangers driving can have, and the situations reckless people have gotten themselves into, sometimes even death.
Let's Gym and Dance for Sport Relief 2014
January 28, 2014
By Mrs L. Moore
To showcase work in PE lessons this academic year, we are holding a Gym and Dance Display evening over two nights on Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th February 2014. The display will be approximately an hour long and start at 5.30pm. Tickets costs will be £2 per adult and £1 per child with proceeds donated to charity.

It is important to note that due to the nature of the event, the school hall will have a limited seat capacity and tickets will be issued on a first come first serve basis.

We look forward to welcoming you then.

Letters can be obtained from girls PE.
Year 12 Cambridge University visit
January 16, 2014
By Meryem Ismail, Year 12 student
On the 15th January 2014 a few year 12 students were fortunate enough to spend the day at Cambridge University - which was most definitely a very informative, and fun, experience for all.
The day was led by current and former Cambridge students who were willing to pass on lots of advice to our students about the university, the application process and student life; as well as sharing a few of their experiences and answering any additional questions we may have had.
The day started off with a talk about Cambridge University, which informed our students about everything and anything from the courses available and how to choose the right one for you, to the different colleges, social clubs and accommodation. We then ate lunch in the Gonville and Caius dining hall, (on the top table no less) which was just as grand as you may well imagine. The afternoon then consisted of a tour around the Gonville and Caius College, a question and answer session with the students and finally a tour around Selwyn College.
The city was beautiful, the staff and students at Cambridge were extremely helpful and the weather wasn't too bad either (it didn't rain!) so I would say that all in all, we all had a very good day. Thank you to Miss Zeal and Mr Whitelock for organising the day!