EMAT Home School Newsletter 5th June

Posted on: 05/06/2020

Endeavour MAT Newsletter 5th June 2020                      E

We are all born with an innate love of stories. Books and stories create magic and a sense of wonder at the world. They have the ability to transport us to another place and time, to provide escapism and act as a portal to other lands and cultures. This is especially relevant during the Covid-19 pandemic when travel of any kind is near impossible and the meeting of new and exciting people simply out of our grasp. Stories teach us about life, about ourselves and about others. Storytelling is a unique way for students to develop an understanding, respect and appreciation for other cultures, countries, races and religions.

New research published by the Book Trust shows that 47% of parents say they are seeing their children reading more by themselves since lockdown.  There has also been a dramatic increase in the use of libraries who are offering free loans of online e-books, e-magazines and audiobooks. Theatres and production companies are providing more opportunities for us to access storytelling and are streaming a huge range of  shows free of charge, including; A Monster Calls and Macbeth - for details of these and a host of other shows visit  https://www.whatsonstage.com/london-theatre/news/stage-shows-musicals-opera-free-stream-online_51198.html

Across our schools our English departments are providing curriculum learning, support and stimulus.  Mrs Altmann at Stone Lodge has been reading aloud to her Year 7 students via Teams as part of their study of an award-winning children’s novel about loss, prejudice and family relationships.  

Mrs Altmann writes;

Screen shot 2020 06 05 at 095514“During these unprecedented times I have been acutely aware of the uncertain and fearful emotions our young people are experiencing. Growing up, I was told time and time again that literature was how we learn about ourselves; stories are the best education you can receive. Indeed, I have heard myself repeat these words to Year 7 on more than one occasion. Being faced with such an extraordinary time, I was faced with an opportunity to change my plans and select a book that could explore some of the issues our young people face today and in doing so help some of our students investigate these ideas through the extraordinary vehicle of literature.

‘My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece’ explores the loss of a loved one through the eyes of a child who has not experienced loss before. Jamie is 10 years old and lost one of his older sisters when he was younger. He is faced with battling how people think he should feel and react, with how he actually feels.  He is faced with the tragic impact this loss has on his family and on his ability to connect to those around him. It explores the impacts of terrorism on those left behind and the prejudice that develops as a consequence.

Some of our students have sadly experienced loss during these last few weeks. Endeavour MAT staff are working with all students to support them and to provide them with opportunities to talk through their worries and fears, as needed. I hope that in reading this book it goes some way to helping our students explore any loss they experience and understand the emotions that they are feeling.

If there are any families that have experienced any loss in the recent weeks or any family situations that you feel your school should be aware of, please do let us know and we will endeavour to support you and your child through virtual 1:1s and in any other way we can”.

Keziah of WGSG Year 7 recently won a gold award in the BBC Young Reporter of the Year competition.  Keziah feels strongly that everyone should be able to see themselves represented in the books that they read and would like to see more diversity in the books being published for young readers.  Mrs Black of WGSG is continually adding new titles to the shelves with a focus on diversity, supported by Mrs Sloane to ensure the works of the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community are appropriately represented across the books on offer.

Mrs Black says, 'I've always loved visiting the library, as a child we went weekly and I devoured every book I could get my hands on. Libraries give us a chance to learn and be inspired by stories and events we could only otherwise imagine. Their shelves are packed with joy and sadness, struggle and triumph, and tales from every corner of the globe. The following books are some of our favourite diverse reads from the WGSG and WGSB libraries.

Screen shot 2020 06 05 at 095528Elizabeth Acevedo – With the Fire on High

Emoni is a high school senior with a passion for cooking and responsibilities in the form of her two year old daughter. We follow Emoni as she deals with doubts about her future and the different paths in front of her.

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Randy Ribay - Patron Saints of Nothing

Jay Reguero's idea of spending vacation playing video games is disrupted when he hears of the death of his Filipino cousin during President Duerte's war on drugs.


Screen shot 2020 06 05 at 095548Angie Thomas - On the Come Up

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill.


Screen shot 2020 06 05 at 095556Sandhya Menon - When Dimple met Rishi

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.”  Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself  in the most unexpected ways.

Screen shot 2020 06 05 at 095608Dear Martin - Nic Stone

Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League - but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighbourhood behind, he can't escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Screen shot 2020 06 05 at 095620Renée Watson - Piecing me together

Jade believes she must get out of her neighbourhood if she’s ever going to succeed. Her mother says she has to take every opportunity. Friendships, race, privilege, identity—this compelling and thoughtful story explores the issues young women face

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Randa Abdel-Fattah – Does my Head Look Big in this?

Sixteen-year-old Amal makes the decision to start wearing the hijab full-time and everyone has a reaction. Her parents, her teachers, her friends, people on the street. But she stands by her decision to embrace her faith and all that it is, even if it does make her a little different from everyone else.

Screen shot 2020 06 05 at 095640Anthony McGowan – Lark

A gripping story about two young brothers who find their lives in danger during an adventure on the moors. Nicky and Kenny, with their dog Tina, find themselves ill prepared and vulnerable when snow hits and darkness falls. This is a heart-wrenching end to the story, following on from 'Brock' 'Pike' and 'Rook'.

Screen shot 2020 06 05 at 095653Renée Watson & Ellen Hagan - Watch Us Rise

Jasmine & Chelsea are sick of the way women are treated even at their progressive NYC high school, so they decide to start a Women's Rights Club. They post everything online, including Jasmine's response to the racial macroaggressions she experiences and soon they go viral. But with such positive support, the club is also targeted by online trolls. When things escalate, the principal shuts the club down. Jasmine & Chelsea will risk everything for their voices—and those of other young women—to be heard.

Screen shot 2020 06 05 at 095703Simon vs the homo sapiens agenda by Becky Albertalli.

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight


Screen shot 2020 06 05 at 095718 Nicola Yoon - The Sun is Also a Star

Natasha’s family are twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica when she first meets Daniel. Then they meet again. And again. Could it be fate pushing them together? Natasha doesn’t want to think so; after all, she trusts science, not concepts that cannot be scientifically proven. Daniel is moonstruck over Natasha. Unlike her, he believes in fate and love at first sight. Now he just has to convince Natasha that they were meant for each other.

Screen shot 2020 06 05 at 095725What I Carry - Jennifer Longo

Muiriel (nicknamed Muir, for the John Muir Hospital where she was abandoned as an infant) is about to age out of the foster care system after a life spent shuttling from placement to placement. So when she’s sent to her last home, she’s prepared to bide her time and follow her policy of no attachments. What she isn’t prepared to find is a loving foster mother, a supportive best friend, and a potential boyfriend. Hopeful and affirming, What I Carry is an essential read

Screen shot 2020 06 05 at 095733The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes: A Hunger Games Novel - Suzanne Collins

So stunningly realised was the world of The Hunger Games that readers were left desperate to know more about the Dark Days that followed Panem’s failed rebellion. Now, those pivotal times have been fleshed out into a compelling new saga that both informs the original trilogy and stands alone as a powerful, breathlessly exciting fantasy thriller. Utterly unmissable.

Screen shot 2020 06 05 at 095746The Future of Us - Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

In this story Emma and Josh, best friends, log on in 1996... only to somehow land in a future full of likes and friend requests (i.e. Facebook). When they realize that their thoughts and actions in 1996 have consequences 15 years in the future, things get interesting. Can the two teenagers rewrite the future? Should they try?


Screen shot 2020 06 05 at 095754Truly Wildly Deeply - Jenny McLachlan

Annie is starting college. She can’t wait. No more school, no more uniform, and no one telling her what to do. It’s the start of a new adventure and Annie’s not going to let anyone or anything get in the way of that. Freedom matters to Annie. She has cerebral palsy and she’s had to fight hard to get the world to see her for who she truly is.
Then she meets Fab. He’s six foot two, Polish and a passionate believer in…well, just about everything, but most of all Annie and good old fashioned romance.

Screen shot 2020 06 05 at 095803Marcus & Julian Sedgwick & artist Alexis Deacon - Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black. 

This is a skilfully woven combination of prose, poetry and illustration to tell the dreamlike story of two brothers in conflict amidst the devastation of WWII London. 


Screen shot 2020 06 05 at 095814Not Your Sidekick - C.B. Lee

In a world where superheroes and supervillains are a normal every day part of life, being a superhero is a way to fame and fortune. Every member of her family is a super, but Jess is just an ordinary teen trying to get into college. When she takes an internship with a famous supervillain she’ll not only get to work with her crush Abby but also dig into the dark truths about what it really means to be a villain or a hero. 

Screen shot 2020 06 05 at 095828A Series of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket

The Baudelaire siblings, Klaus and Violet, know they have to work together if they ever hope to solve the mystery of the VFD and escape the clutches of Count Olaf and his evil crew. Klaus uses his incredible love of reading to solve many a predicament. His sister Violet is the inventor in the family, creating gadgets and gizmos and machines at just the right moment. Together, they’re an unbeatable pair

Several of our staff have got in touch to contribute their recommended lockdown reads and share the places they have visited though the pages of books - a selection can be found below which are recommended for older students and adults.

Screen shot 2020 06 05 at 095836The 2015 Pulitzer Prize winner ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ by Anthony Doerr is a beautiful novel set in WWII France and Germany (I read this over the weekend celebrating VE Day). Marie-Laure is a blind French girl escaping from the bombings and Werner is a genius German boy, specialising in fixing radios. Their paths cross in this beautifully poignant book.


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Philip Pullman’s ‘His Materials Trilogy’ are brilliant and will transport readers to Oxford, London, the freezing Northern region and a number of magical worlds.  ‘Northern Lights’, ‘The Subtle Knife’ and ‘The Amber Spyglass’ are great reads for young adults.


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For those requiring a longer read, Yuval Noah Harari’s ‘Sapiens: A Brief History if Humankind’ is a non-fiction piece of work that takes you to the beginning of time and the evolution of the human race. It blew my mind reading this!


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Delia Owens’ ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ is based on the character of Kay Clarke, a young woman who has been abandoned by everyone she loves. Forced to live alone on the marshes, she becomes a source of fascination for two local boys: Tate and Chase. When the latter dies, suspicion falls upon Kya. The American Deep South fizzes off the page in the wonderful book.


Screen Shot 2020 06 05 at 09.59.18Another book of interest, to help people through this difficult time, is 'The Wild Remedy-How Nature Mends Us' by Emma Mitchell. Emma's hand-illustrated diary, follows her experiences of nature, the flora and fauna, on her doorstep on the edge of the Cambridge Fens. She reflects on how these encounters impact her mood and explains the science behind such changes. Filled with beautiful drawings, paintings and photography this book brings a little piece of the outdoors in. 



Across our schools, students continue to work diligently, completing online lessons and sharing news and pictures of their ‘downtime’ interests and accomplishments.

The WGSB Library can be followed on twitter @WGSBL.  Ms Fisk, our Librarian, provides news, book suggestions and inspiration for our of all our avid readers!  Currently Thomas L of 7B is working his way through Robert Muchamore's books; 'Cherub' & 'Henderson's Boys' series. While Daniel R, 8D, is reading Darren Shan's 'Demonata' series - both boys received congratulatory messages from the authors on the library twitter feed.

Bow S of Stone Lodge has been learning programming online and completed the introduction level. Bow, this is a brilliant achievement, well done!

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Adam of Stone Lodge has been taking part in online typing lessons to improve his keyboard skills – taking the initiative to learn new skills that can support home learning – good work Adam.

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Adam N of WGSB 9D loves history and has been building lots of model kits including the tanks pictured below.  Adam has set up a youtube channel called The Model Maniac with excellent and professional reviews, filmed builds and advice for model makers. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxPY3l4DkowM0z-5Pcxhs0g

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A happy belated birthday to Laura S from us all at Endeavour MAT!  Even in lockdown her family managed to pull off a surprise 12th birthday and create a memorable celebration.

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Sophie H of Stone Lodge has been enjoying her engineering work and has made this excellent prototype pneumatics robot hand.  Mrs Maxwell has been working with her students to make a pneumatic robot hand, as we are currently working from home (without the use of school resources) we were making hand prototypes from paper, thinking about anthropometrics and ergonomics and the way hands move. This perfect moving paper hand was the outcome. 

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Mrs Wakeling of WGSG is compiling entries for the Wilmington Parish Council Poetry Competition (full details in the advert below) – including this entry from Charlotte S of WGSG

Keep Smiling Without Hesitation by Charlotte S

When the feeling of life gets you down

Please turn your frown the other way round

We are in isolation

But keep smiling without hesitation


Turn up your favourite piece of music

Try do something therapeutic

We are in isolation

But keep smiling without hesitation


Look at old photos that bring back old memories

Catch up with your favourite documentary

We are in isolation

But keep smiling without hesitation


Thinking of your family and friends

Looking forward to see them when it all ends

We are in isolation

But keep smiling without hesitation


Try a new hobby like baking

Joe Wicks workout is still aching

We are in isolation

But keep smiling without hesitation


One day it will be over

And we will all be closer

We are in isolation

But keep smiling without hesitation

Dr Harris of the History department of WGSB challenged his Y7 students to write a poem about Henry VIII and his wives.  He has been delighted with all the work submitted, which includes the below poem from Oliver F of 7S

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Miss Maxwell wanted to share the Stone Lodge current Art project which is focusing on the cubism movement - they are to design a mask about their identity, but it needs to have a cubist theme. When we return to school we hope to create papier-mache masks and 3d models for their final outcomes. Students looked at artists such as Pablo Picasso to give them some ideas and inspiration.  The images below are from artists Natalie C (left) and Sophie C (right)  both wonderful examples.

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For more inspirational Art works and challenges for students to work on at home, check out WGSB twitter account @WgsbArt

WG6.  University Taster Days and online Webinars offer a virtual solution to exploring Universities and the courses they have on offer.  Some Universities are taking bookings for campus visits from September, but in the meantime, to help inform next steps and course preferences refer to both https://www.ucas.com/undergraduate/what-and-where-study/open-days-and-events/virtual-tours


We hope you all have a relaxing and enjoyable weekend  … to finish, Dr Newson of WGSG’s weekly dose of fun!

I burnt my Hawaiian pizza today!  Should have put it on aloha setting!

Why did the Jelly baby go to school? He wanted to be a smartie!


Did you hear about the claustrophobic astronaut?  He just needed a little space.

Stay safe and stay in touch and we look forward to welcoming all of our students back when it's safe for us all to do so.  The latest letters from our Head Teachers can be referenced on the Correspondence page of the school website. In the meantime, please send photos and news to gwellcoat@endeavour-mat.co.uk


Very best wishes,


Mrs Lodge CEO Endeavour MAT, Mrs Lawson HT, WGSG, Mr Guthrie HT, WGSB and Mr Barnett HT, Stone Lodge School.

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