December 2017: Court visit helps students plan their careers

A TRIP to Manchester Crown Court helped our sixth form law students map out potential careers. Our aspiring lawyers took part in a courtroom workshop and got to sit in on real trials.

The 17 Year 13 students had already visited a Magistrates Court in Year 12 and so could compare and contrast the experiences.

Hannah Crook, 17, said: “The subjects the Crown Court dealt with were much more serious. We were split into two groups and some people watched a rape trial and others an assault; in the Magistrates Court we saw a lot of people wanting bail.”

Arina Dijan, 17, said: “The main difference to me was how the court is structured. The barristers and solicitors take the lead in the Crown Court whereas in the other court it was the magistrates asking the questions.

“We watched how the barristers keep on asking questions of the witnesses and it was really intense.”

Arina, who hopes to become a barrister, added: “This visit has solidified what I want to do. I was brought up with everyone saying that I would have a career in law and I will hopefully get a place at Newcastle University.”

Hannah’s ambition is to be a forensic psychologist.

She said: “I was really impressed with the courts, especially seeing the jury and how the witnesses and defendants present themselves to the jury and the legal teams.

“After A levels I am looking to go to university to study psychology, possibly with law, at Kent or Edinburgh.”

December 2017: Lancashire final beckons for U14s badminton players

Some of our talented badminton players will be representing Rossendale in the finals of the Lancashire U14s competition.

The team of Year 9s, comprising of Ben Wilson, Tom Corbett and Edward Taylor along with Year 7 student William Harding played 16 games. This involved four against each of the schools taking part; All Saints, Alder Grange, Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School and Fearns Community Sports College.

Haslingden High School finished champions after only losing two out of the 16 games, and both to a county badminton player from BRGS.

Tom said: “The four team players are numbered and the first two play in singles matches and then pair up with one of the remaining two for doubles games.

“Apart from losing those two games, the others were not too hard.”

Ben said: “We are now just waiting to hear when the Lancashire final will be; they will be held in Blackpool.”

Both Ben and Tom are joining the school’s badminton club on a Friday and Edward and William both also play for teams outside of school.

December 2017: Caring student and boss plan bumper Christmas party

SIXTH Form student Katie Griffin and her catering boss are planning a free, bumper Christmas party for elderly residents at Haslingden Cricket Club.
Katie, 17, from Rawtenstall, is in her final year at Sixth Form and hopes go to university to train to become a social worker.
For two years Katie has been waitressing for KL Catering at Haslingden Cricket Club.
Katie said: “My boss Kat Lightfoot mentioned to me about organising a free party for the elderly people who are alone at Christmas or don’t see a lot of people.
“I mentioned that Haslingden High School collects Christmas hampers and many of these are given to people in the area who are on their own. Now the school is contacting those residents to see if they want to go to the party.”
Since publicising the party, which will be held on Thursday December 21 at 2.30pm, on social media site Facebook lots of people have offered to waitress for free and donations for the event have flooded in.
Katie said: “A lot of my friends have also offered to join me in being a waitress for free at the event.”
Kat said: “I am a gym member at Evolving Fitness in Stubbins and the gym wanted to do something for others at Christmas and I suggested a dinner at the cricket club.
“They are supporting the event financially and we have had lots of other sponsors come forward. We now need residents who would like to enjoy the party to get in touch.
“Katie is a very hard worker. She is amazing and is so keen to do anything to help anybody.”
Katie is studying A levels in sociology, dance and business and as well as working weekends when required for Kat, she also volunteers at a care home.
She said: “I am passionate about wanting to be a social worker and that is pushing me more and more to do well in my A levels so I can go where I want to go.”
Katie has applied for social work courses at Leeds University, Leeds Beckett, Salford, Liverpool and Northumbria.
Elderly residents who want to book a place at the party can contact Nichola McCloud 07925237485 or Lisa Foster 07984467053 or email

November 2017: James helps gymnastics team to fourth place in national competition

GYMNAST James Peacock helped his North West team to fourth place in a national competition.

Student James, 13, from Turn Village, earned his place in the regional team after competing in the North West Election Trial in Wigan.

He is currently at Level 5 and managed to secure one of just four places in the team.

In the national final in Birmingham, James completed a set routine on pommel, rings, high bar, parallel bars, floor and vault as well a routine to show how strong and flexible he is.

In the team competition the best three out of the four scores from each competitor in each of the disciplines were combined.

Out of the eight teams taking part, the North West team was in fourth place, just 0.7 points behind third place.

James said: “When I was at the lower Level 1 and Level 2 grades, I also got through to represent the North West, but I didn’t do as well.

“At the lower level they take six people for the team, but as you get older and to a higher level there are less people who are committed to training and less taken forward for the team.

“I am best on the rings, and got my highest points score for my routine on the rings, probably because I have good upper body strength and I enjoy it. My weakest is floor.”

He has been a member of Bury Gymnastics Club for more than eight years and trains four times a week – three days after school with a double session on a Saturday from 11am to 1.30pm then after lunch he trains until 5.30pm.

James was cheered on in Birmingham by his parents Richard and Kaye and his younger sister Sally, eight, and his Auntie Rachel.

He said: “I enjoy gymnastics because I like learning new moves. Next year I will be Level 6, which is the highest I can go, and I hope to be able to represent the North West again.

“It is harder to get a place on the team the higher the level you compete at.

James is also an accomplished trampolinist and for the last two years has represented his school in the national schools’ final.

Last year the team won the North West competition and was second in the national final – they hope to be successful again in this year’s competition.

The Year 9 student hopes to be an engineer in the future.

November 2017: Students’ reading reaches new heights

EXTREME readers from our new Year 7 cohort have been rewarded for their efforts. Over the summer the new students were challenged to read a book in an unusual location and take a photograph as evidence.

Eleanor Thomas, 11, opted to read a chapter of The Hobbit from a lofty position in the bucket of a digger on the campsite in France where she was holidaying with her parents.

Her intrepid read earned her a gift voucher and a box of chocolates.

She said: “I was reading The Hobbit at the time and the owner of the campsite lifted me up into the digger and I was above the height of the caravans. I came down because after reading a chapter it became a bit windy.

“I finished the book in about two weeks and spent a lot of time next to the pool, getting a suntan and reading my book.

“If you are reading a book that you are into, you don’t want to put it down. If a book doesn’t interest me after reading a couple of chapters then I will swap it for another one.”

Daniel Wilson, 12, was snapped reading a book from the Alex Rider series in the middle of a BMX track in Derby with cyclists all around him and as the second best picture he won a box of chocolates.

He said: “I enjoy riding on the track, but instead I was in the middle reading my book. I read about two chapters and the cyclists were not distracting because it was a good book.”

November 2017: Student Ella scales Britain’s highest peak for Rossendale Hospice

CARING student Ella McGovern and her family raised more than five times their goal for Rossendale Hospice by scaling Ben Nevis in Scotland.

Year 10 student Ella, 14, from Helmshore, along with her parents Louise and Rockey and older cousins Beth, Sarah and Jamie Robertson, scaled Britain’s highest peak in just four hours.

They chose to raise funds for the hospice because of the support and counselling that it provided for a number of our students after the MEN Arena bombing.

Ella and her family’s initial fundraising target was £300 – in the end almost £1,600 was raised.

Ella said: “We went up to Scotland the day before and stayed overnight. When we were climbing Ben Nevis it was really slippy because it was raining. It was hard going because it was rocky and quite scary because it was so slippy.

“When we got to the top it was really cold and my cousin had frost in his beard. It was a great relief to get to the top and although it was quite foggy you could make out some of the view.

“Our group then split up because we went down the mountain at different paces. On the way back we had to cross a waterfall and it was still very slippy.”

Ella is no stranger to fundraising having taken part in a midnight walk and a tough Pretty Mudder challenge.

She has previously climbed Snowdon, but has yet to decide on her next challenge!

October 2017: Gymnast will compete with country’s best

GYMNAST James Peacock will be representing the North West region in a national competition in November.

Year 9 student James, 13, from Turn Village, said: “I had to do a set routine on pommel, rings, high bar, parallel bars, floor and vault.

“I am best on the rings, probably because I have good upper body strength and I enjoy it.

“I got one of the four places on the team and there are also two reserves.”

James is also an accomplished trampolinist and for the last two years has represented our school in the national schools’ final.

Last year our team won the North West competition and was second in the national final.

October 2017: Biathletes and swimmers wait to hear about national final place

TWO of our talented athletes are waiting to find out if they have secured places in two national schools’ competitions.

Beth Hartwell and Emily Nuttall, both 13, are seasoned biathletes having competed in Year 7 and 8.

Along with eight other students they went to the North West Schools’ Biathlon at Leigh Sports Village where they completed a 100m swim and 1,600m run.

Beth said: “We competed individually and then we also teamed up with Katherine Waters from Woodhey High School in Ramsbottom and as a team we won the U14s title.

“I was third overall and I posted the best swim time.”

Emily came sixth overall and was fourth best in the swim.

She said: “The running section was really hard because I don’t like running and the 15 year olds were running at the same time because there were not enough competitors in their age group.”

Once all the regional competitions are held the best performing biathletes go through to the national final at Crystal Palace next year.

Beth and Emily, along with other students Ashlea Jolly, Amy Barlow and Caitlin Woodend also competed in the North West Secondary Schools Team Swimming Relay Championships.

They competed with our school swimming team, Hassy Aces, and the  freestyle and medley relay teams both came 5th in their age group.

Beth said: “Most of the schools that take part in the competition are grammar schools or independents that have their own pool.”

Again they are waiting for other regional competitions to be held before they find out if their time has earned them a place in the national final at the London Aquatics Centre in November.

October 2017: Students help twin towns celebrate anniversary

On Saturday October 21, our Sixth Form Centre will be the venue for an anniversary concert celebrating 65 years of twinning between Rossendale and Bocholt.

In 1952 it was suggested that Rossendale twin with the Northern German city of Bocholt because, like the Lancashire borough, it had industrial roots in the textile trade.

Families from around the borough will welcome 35 visitors arriving from Bocholt.

In the evening a concert, entitled ‘Ode to Joy’ after the European anthem, will be held at St Peter’s Church, Haslingden, featuring Rossendale Ladies Choir and 2nd Rossendale Scout Group Band; both groups have visited Bocholt several times.

Treasurer of the Friends of Bocholt John Davey first went to the twin town when he was 19 in 1966 and he was a founder member of the Friends of Bocholt, which set up in 1983.

He said: “For many years the twinning links revolved around youth visits between the two countries.

“We went to celebrate 30 years of the twinning arrangement and from that visit it was decided to set up the Friends of Bocholt and in Germany they set up the German British Society.”

Since then, the two groups have supported each other at a variety of different events on both sides of the channel and formed strong friendships.

Haslingden High School Chair of Governors John said: “One of the visitors this time will be Crystel Feldhaar, she is a former Mayor of Bocholt and her son is now studying at Lancaster University. It will be great to see her in Rossendale again.

“We will be having a social evening on the Sunday night at Rossendale Golf Club from 7.30pm and anyone who has been involved with twinning in the past is welcome to come along.

“By letting someone stay in your home you can make a lasting friendship. People should not worry about not being able to speak the language as 99 per cent of the people who come here speak English.”

Students from Haslingden High School also attended a photography course in the German city and provided pictures for a book that has been produced to celebrate all of Bocholt’s twin towns.

In preparation for the visit the Friends have cleaned up all the twinning plaques in Rawtenstall and Bacup and the German telephone box in Whitaker Park.

A special new plaque is being created for the commemorative stone next to Rawtenstall Railway Station.

For concert tickets, priced £8 or £5 concessions, contact Russell Helm on 01706 875819.

John added: “We are also hoping to attract more people to get involved with the Friends. If you want to find out more about our twin town and all that is has to offer why not join?”

For more details email Susan Davey on

September 2017: Maths weekend makes sums fun

A FUN, mathematical three days on Anglesey was enjoyed by around 60 students from Year 8, who took part in a host of maths-based activities and correct answers enabled the teams to get points, which could be exchanged for items to complete the next challenge.

Heather Kliszcz, 12, said: “We were able to get four barrels, eight poles and ropes so that we could make a raft. We also got to go on zip wires and I really enjoyed the weekend.

“It was good and I enjoyed doing lots of different activities. I don’t particularly like maths so it has helped me in school.”