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 susanmdavey@btinternet.com

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.”

September 2017: Skydiving Molly raises more than £1,000

MORE than £1,000 was raised by our skydiving A level student in memory of a friend.

Daredevil Year 13 student Molly Blake decided to take part in a parachute jump to raise money in memory of Matthew Densfield, a former student and family friend.

Matt, who had a heart defect as a result of genetic condition, DiGeorge Syndrome, sadly died in March, aged 20.

He was studying music at the University of Leeds and had been in Manchester Royal Infirmary after a third heart operation. Whilst there, his family were able to stay in a Ronald McDonald House, which provides self-contained accommodation for the families of patients.

Molly, 17, of Baxenden, decided to raise money for the Ronald McDonald charity and was delighted to top £1,000.

She said: “It was amazing and the best thing I have done in my life. I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

As the lightest jumper she was strapped to the lightest instructor and so was last out of the plane and they jumped from around 15,000ft.

Molly said: “I wasn’t really scared because it was for Matt and so I couldn’t back out; not that I wanted to.

“I was sitting on the edge of the plane waiting for the instructor to push us out and I could see all of Blackpool, the Isle of Man and the Lake District.

“We had 40 seconds of freefalling and I was smiling, but because my teeth are sensitive and the wind was so cold they were hurting.

“Then the parachute opened and we were jolted back up. That is when I realised just how fast we had been going because the cameraman suddenly dropped below us quickly until he too opened his chute.

“As we were the lightest it took us the longest to get down, about seven or eight minutes, and then we landed in a puddle.”

Both Molly’s parents Dawn and Peter, and Matt’s, Dave and Susan, along with many members of both families went along to lend their support.

Molly said: “Afterwards we got to watch the DVD and we all had a picnic.”

September 2017: Charlie taps her way to place in national company


TAP dancer and student Charlie Morris has won a place with the Northern Associates of national dance company Tap Attack.

The 16-year-old has also secured a dancing role in a professional production in Castleford, West Yorkshire, entitled ‘Spooky Town’.

Charlie was one of 90 dancers who auditioned with Tap Attack, for the Northern Associates team based in Halifax. She was fortunate to be picked for the seniors.

She said: “We will be going all over the North of England to perform at lots of conventions.

“I have a place with the team for a year and will then have another audition to keep my place. As a team we meet to rehearse once a month.”

Charlie is also making frequent trips to Castleford to rehearse for the Hallowe’en dance spectacular ‘Spooky Town’.

She said: “The show is produced by Sadie Flower, the winner of the BBC1 show Strictly Dance Fever, and Lydia Louisa, who toured with Dirty Dancing and Mama Mia.

“I found out about the show on social media site Facebook and went for an audition in Castleford. They made about four cuts from all the auditionees before they chose the final 10 seniors.”

The show will be on from October 28 to 30 at Castleford Civic Centre and rehearsals are every Sunday.

In November Charlie has four auditions for dance school at the Northern Ballet College in Manchester, MADD College in Nottinghamshire, SLP in Leeds and The Hammond School in Cheshire.

She has been attending Dansworks Dance Academy in Bacup for almost 10 years where she learns nearly every discipline as well as helping run classes with younger children.

Dansworks Principal Karen Roe said: “We are delighted for Charlie; she is a real asset to Dansworks because she works incredibly hard at everything that she does.

“It shows because she is now starting to be successful in every audition that she goes for.

“She will definitely be a professional dancer in the future and she is also an amazing singer so she could go into musical theatre in the West End.

“She obviously has a great future ahead of her and we look forward to following her success and going to see her on stage.”

September 2017: Swimmer Mia in national health company campaign

Year 8 student, Mia Smith, an accomplished swimmer, is set to become one of the faces of a national health product manufacturer.

Weleda UK has launched a national search for athletes, including swimmers, to promote its range of arnica products for sportspeople through a specialist film.

Weleda has been making 100 per cent certified natural products since 1921 and with the HQ in Derbyshire, sports filming took place outdoors within the beautiful Peak District.
Mia was selected after Weleda UK’s Managing Director, Jayn Sterland, heard how she had finished in bronze position for 100m breaststroke in the North West Regional Swimming Championships in Manchester in June.
Mia, along with her friend and fellow student and swimmer Beth Hartwell, dedicated her swim to friend Amy Barlow who was injured in the Manchester Arena attack, which had happened days before the competition.

Emblazoned across the backs of both swimmers was, ‘Get Well Soon Amy x x’.

Jayn had also heard about Amy and was quick to send a Weleda hamper of healing products to her and the other children affected in the attack.

Mia said: “When I was selected for the filming, I got to try open water river swimming for the first time in the River Derwent in Derbyshire.
“Two of us got into the water and they filmed it both from the riverbank and with a drone above and it was freezing cold. The current was really strong.”

Mia swims five to six times a week with Pioneer 79 at Accrington Academy including attending the pool from 5am-7am every Tuesday or Thursday.

Her success in the regional competition means she is working over the next two years towards making it to a national competition, but only the top 50 swimmers will be selected.
Mia said: “Now I have tried open water swimming, I would like to do more and will be speaking to my coach about swimming in Salford Quays, just for fun.”

Mia’s mum Gill said: “The Weleda arnica film is being launched in the spring across the UK and Europe and it will be on YouTube.
“It was a fantastic experience for her, working with a crew and learning about marketing. There was lots of hanging around all day and doing the shots over and over.

“We were shocked when Jayn recently named Mia as one of the most inspirational people that she met this year, and we are very grateful to her for giving Mia the chance to take part.”

September 2017: Footballers net County places

THREE of our talented young have secured places in Lancashire County Girls U14s team.

The 13-year-old trio of Lucy Valentine, Beth MacDonald and Abby Clarke were in the side that beat Archbishop Temple to raise the Under 14s Girls Open Cup last year.

Now they have been selected as one of 16 girls in the team after four gruelling trials.

Beth said: “The first trial was in June and there were 110 girls competing for the places. Then that was down to around 70 in the second trial in July.”

Finally, after four trials, the squad was selected along with four reserves and 11 standby players.

Both Lucy and Aby were selected as standby players last year for the U13s team. Lucy was offered a place in one of the matches for the U14s team but unfortunately she was on holiday.

Lucy and Beth have been selected as strikers and Abby is a forward. Lucy also plays for Bolton, Abby plays for Everton and Beth for Haslingden.

September 2017: Stage dreams a step closer for Bethan

One of our Sixth Form students, Bethan Nelson has earned a place at the prestigious academy at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, LIPA.

It was while she was attending an intensive summer school at LIPA that tutors suggested she apply for the 4-19 Academy.

Bethan has been dancing since she was five and took up singing and acting in BYTES, Bacup Royal Court Theatre’s youth section when she was 8.

She has also been a member of Dansworks Dance Academy in Bacup since 2014.

Bethan said: “I do tap, ballet, street, musical theatre, jazz, drama and point class at Dansworks. I am working towards grade 5 ballet and tap; I have a gold standard 2 in street and stage 6 in musical theatre and intermediate jazz.

“My mum got the email and when she came home from work she said she had some bad news for me. She said I would no longer be able to go to BYTES on a Saturday or Dansworks because I had got into the academy.

“I felt really happy and really proud of myself. At LIPA I will be doing an hour of dance, drama and singing every Saturday until I am 19.

“What I have been doing so far has been a little step towards my goal, but landing this place is a massive step towards what I want to do.”

Bethan’s goal is a career in musical theatre and she already has her sights set on two schools – the SLP Drama School in Leeds and the Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow.

She took dance and drama at GCSE and is now studying both subjects at A level in our Sixth Form, along with Religious Studies and Psychology.

Principal at Dansworks Karen Roe said: “Bethan has worked extremely hard in the time that she has been with us and we have been trying to help her to reach her potential.

“We encourage students to look for opportunities over the summer. We are pleased that Bethan is still going to be at Dansworks through the week and we hope to see her on the big stage in the future.”

Bethan has also landed a place in the chorus at Bacup Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society. She added: “My dream role would be to play Elphaba in Wicked.”

September 2017: Our school band is on the up!

SIX months after Head of Expressive Arts, Mr.Gibbs suggested four Year 10 students form a band, Thursday’s Child  will be appearing at Ramsbottom’s ‘Head to the Hills’ Festival in September!

Joe Charles, now in Year 11, plays cajon – a box shaped percussion instrument and he explained: “Mr. Gibbs entered the rock band category in the Rochdale Festival of Performing Arts, but at the time the school didn’t have even have one! So he suggested we all get together and form Thursday’s Child”

Vocalist Kayleigh Mableson had already been singing with percussionist and backing vocalist India Flavell, who was given a ukulele for her birthday.

The final student making up the quartet is Lewis Fielding who plays guitar.

The group’s debut YouTube cover of Amy Winehouse’s Valerie has had almost 2,000 views and at the Rochdale Festival they scored 91 per cent – beating all the other bands.

Kayleigh said: “Since forming we were finalists in the ‘Sing Bolton Sing’ competition in partnership with Bolton FM and have recorded Jolene, Oops I did it Again, Hey Ya and Big Yellow Taxi.”

The band has a current play list of 11 songs and has performed at Tor View’s Shine Arts Festival, Edenfield Fete, Glaston-Bury, Edgeside’s The Fest and at Feniscowles Cricket Club.

Closer to home, Thursday’s Child has twice gigged at The Woolpack, in Haslingden, and performed at the Rossendale Schools’ Arts Festival in Bacup.

All four band members are hoping to stay on at our Sixth Form after GCSEs and India, Kayleigh and Lewis want to take A level music.

Kayleigh said: “I never expected us to do so well, especially as we were put together so quickly and only had about a month to rehearse as a band before the Rochdale festival.

“We are trying to keep the band together, although this is our GCSE year so we may not be doing as many gigs, but hopefully this will be something we can continue into Sixth Form.”

It seems Mr. Gibbs definitely has an eye for talent!

Thursday’s Child will be on stage in Ramsbottom on Sunday September 17.

To watch the group follow the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-VIHykfDCQ

GCSE Results 2017

Students at Haslingden High School have once again achieved some excellent GCSE results, even more pleasing given the more difficult nature of the new GCSE examinations in English and maths. We are delighted with our students’ achievements across the board, with 22 students achieving at least one Grade 9 in English or maths, the highest grade possible, which places them amongst the top 3% of students in the country. 87% of students achieved a good pass in English and 77% in maths, with over three quarters of all students achieving a good pass in both. Science results increased by over 20% despite a 5% decrease across the country, with over three times the number of A/A* grades nationally.


July 2017: Triathlon challenge for teaching assistant

LEARNING support teaching assistant Lee Trickett will be completing a triathlon in September in Leeds and used his school charity day for a test run.

Before his day started at Haslingden High School started he swam 1.5k at Marl Pits in Rawtenstall

Lee, 32, then rode his bike on rollers at the school charity day and completed 40k and he finished the triathlon off after school with a 10k run.

His Duke of Edinburgh team supported the fundraiser by selling drinks and cycling on static bikes.

Lee, from Rawtenstall, said: “When my wife is working late and our children are in bed I use the cycle on rollers to get some practice in.”

On a school trip to New York he didn’t miss the chance to keep up with his training regime by running the length of Manhattan Island north to south and east to west.

He said: “I have done three triathlons this year but never one that involved open water swimming.

“I was browsing triathlons and saw that there was one in Leeds for Macmillan and that they had places so I thought I would give it a go.

“I will be doing some practice swims in the summer at Three Sisters in Wigan and I recently completed a half marathon in Lytham.

“I set myself a target to raise £300 but I think I have probably already passed that.”

If anyone wants to sponsor Lee they can got to www.justgiving.com/lee-trickett