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Spring Gala 2016

Student News Archive

This year’s attractions and activities include:

  • Vintage cars, vans, bikes and buses
  • Army cadets display
  • Ride-on mini railway
  • Model railway – have a go at controlling the railways!
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Exotic pets
  • and much, much more!

RAFFLE PRIZE – Gyrocopter flight around Keswick & Lake District

Draw takes place on 24th April 2016 at our annual Vintage Extravaganza and Spring Gala at Tottington High School, 10am – 4pm. Raffle Tickets on sale £1 each.

A 1 hour flight in the back seat of an open-cockpit gyroplane / gyrocopter / autogyro from Kirkbride airfield in north Cumbria to Bassenthwaite Lake, Keswick, Skiddaw, Derwent Water, Cat Bells, Blencathra.

Alternatively, around North Manchester area of Bolton, Bury & Rochdale when temporarily based at City of Manchester Airport, Barton Aerodrome. Your choice.

You’ll need to weigh less than 100kg and be aged between 14 & 75 years of age. A Helmet/headset, flying suit, gloves, neck-warmer provided. You’ll just need layers of clothing to keep warm if flying in British winter or sun screen if height of summer. Slot to be arranged but likely a full day for lakes, or a half day if Manchester, on a suitable weekend when aircraft, pilot availability & weather allows.

Important: See CAA guidance on risks associated with a recreational flight.

by Mar 23, 2016 No Comments

Teacher Q&A- Mr Ishtiaq

Student News Archive

An interview with Head of Year 9: Mr Ishtiaq.

By Sophie Higgins

Q: What did you do before you became a teacher?

A: I was a banker.

Q: What inspired the career change?

A:I was fed up doing the same thing day in day out and I knew that teaching would be  a bit different and more exciting.

Q:What do you enjoy doing outside of school?

A:Spending time with my family and friends and doing a lot of video production.

Q:Do you enjoy being a teacher? If so, why?

A:Yes, because every day is different and I enjoy making a difference in student’s lives.

Q:What is your favourite colour?


Q:Do you follow any sports teams?

A:Yes, I’m a Blackburn Rovers fan.

Q:What is your favourite type of food?


by Mar 21, 2016 No Comments

House Spelling Bee

House News Archive

The House Spelling Bee took place last week, with KS3 competing on Tuesday and KS4 and staff on Wednesday.

Report by Amy Laws.

Woodbury were first and they scored very well. Then Johnson and Redgrave. I competed in the House competition and it is surprising how nerve-wracking it actually was! Everybody in the whole competition scored really well. Last of all it was the team round and it was an incredibly close competition. Some of the words we had to spell were tough! Words like: Reign, Miniature and Marriage.

Overall, Johnson won the Spelling Bee, Woodbury came 2nd and Redgrave came 3rd

Spelling Bee Spelling Bee 3 Spelling Bee 2

Photos courtesy of Sadie Rogerson.

by Mar 16, 2016 No Comments

Spring Gala & Vintage Extravaganza- Non uniform day

Student News Archive

Our SPRING GALA & VINTAGE EXTRAVAGANZA is being held this year on SUNDAYAPRIL 24th 2016 and, as always we are reliant on your support to make it a success. As in previous years the event will run from 10am until 4pm and we hope that you will be able to join us in what will be our ninth year. Further details of the event will be sent home and will be on the website; but I hope that you will put this date firmly in your diary!

As last year, we require tombola prizes and to facilitate this we are holding a non-uniform day on Thursday 24th MARCH.

For our non-uniform day, our make-up and jewellery rules will be ‘relaxed’ but we insist on ‘sensible’ amounts of both and would also encourage students to be ‘sensibly dressed’ to meet the demands of the school day. Tops should not reveal mid-riffs or shoulders and should not be ‘low-cut’. Hair rules apply at all times. Any student, who we feel is not following these guidelines, will be sent home to change on the day or kept isolated.

We would be most grateful if:

Year 7 students could bring in chocolate items for the tombola.

Year 8 & 9 Students could bring in Toiletries

Year 10 & 11 students could make a £1 donation

Gifts are to be centrally collected in Mr Platt’s Science Laboratory. All money donations will be collected during morning registration.

If you are interested in hiring a table for our Craft Fair we would be pleased to hear from you. Mrs J Kinsey may be contacted during school hours on 01204 882327

Thank you for your continued support.

by Mar 16, 2016 No Comments

Meditation and stress relieving techniques

Student News Archive

Report courtesy of Sadie Rogerson, Amy Laws, Georgia Platt and Michael Laws.

On the 1st March 2016, the ECHO team had a visitor. Dawn Cretney, from Enterprising Youth, helps children of any age with stress and emotional problems. She runs sessions and provides practical advice about how to reduce stress and worries through meditation. She said that teenagers can often suffer with stress due to the big changes they are going through at school, so she gave us some tips for all age groups about how to reduce stress.


Amy Laws summarised Dawn’s top tips for reducing stress:

  1. Find a type of meditation that suits you. This can be breathing or chanting. Chanting just consists of saying a word that you really like repeatedly. These could be words such as “love.”
  2. Drink water. Even if you are the slightest bit dehydrated, this can affect your overall meditation performance. Water is very important and energy flow is easier with water.
  3. Find apps or music that calm you. Use the internet to help you.
  4. The best time to meditate is before bed and when you wake up.

She said “When you meditate, your mind will wander. This is a good thing. The best time to learn stress relief is when you aren’t stressed.

Georgia Platt summarised some of the different meditation techniques she taught us.

Square Breathing

Close your eyes. Listen to any noise around you. Focus on one noise, or focus on any feeling in your body. Breathe in and whilst you do this, imagine a line tracing from your right shoulder to your left shoulder. Then, as you exhale, imagine a line going from your left shoulder to your left hip. All the breaths you do should last as long as the line is drawn. Then, imagine a line going from your left hip to your right hip whilst you inhale. Then exhale as a line is drawn from your right hip to your right shoulder. Repeat this as many times as you want. When you have finished, slowly open your eyes.

Thumb Stroking

Tune out of everything around you and simply softly stroke the side of your thumb. Focus on the feeling in your thumb.

Finger Tracing

Tune out of everything around you and place your hand on a flat surface. With your free hand, trace the outside of your fingers. Focus on the feeling inside your fingers as you trace them.


Dawn also shared some information about the different parts of the brain. Michael Laws summarised this below.

meditaion brains

Neocortex – this is the part of the brain that does the rational thinking.

Reptilian – this part of the brain does the survival response of humans.

Mammalian –  this is the part of the brain that processes emotions and feelings.




Finally, Dawn talked to us about recommended apps we could use to aid us with meditation. Sadie Rogerson summarised this information here.

Head space-this app is a great way to start making meditation into a part of your daily
routine. You can only do a later exercise after you have done the previous one, I think that
this is good for people who find focusing difficult, so they don’t try something too ambitious
or challenging. Unfortunately some of the features are only available to paying subscribers,
this slightly put me off this app because areas like the emergency exercises and the on the
go exercises are not available.
Stop, breathe and think-I think that this is my favourite of the three apps because it
measures your mood and recommends exercises for you. As well, it keeps track of your
progress. It is also set out simply and is made easy to use, in fact some of the programs are
used by schools.
Pacifica-I like this app because it also links in with your health and measures your sleeping
patterns, calorie intake and exercise. The only feature I do not like are the ‘chats’ and
‘community’ features, I think these sections would be good for meditation teachers but get
slightly irritating if you want to just use the app for meditation.”
“As well as apps I would also recommend some of the ‘focus’ or ‘calm’ playlists (on Spotify or
iTunes) if you like listening to music whilst meditating, but make sure the music is not what
you are concentrating on and you are not distracted by it.

Useful websites:


The team would like to say a big thank you to Dawn for letting us try out some of these techniques and for allowing us to interview her. If you would like more information about meditation or techniques for relieving stress, Dawn runs workshops and is happy to come into school again to work with students, so contact the Echo team for more information at

by Mar 15, 2016 No Comments