It’s nearly showtime!

In the early days of September, the auditions for Oliver! marked the commencement of an exhilarating journey. The competition proved formidable, and deciding on the lead roles became a challenging task. Following intense callbacks, our definitive cast emerged.

The real excitement unfolded during the subsequent weeks – with rehearsals for songs, dances, and acting conducted twice a week. Remarkably, some of our talented year 11 students assumed the responsibility of dance choreography for Oliver!, leading the dance rehearsals with exceptional skill. The infectious tune of “Food Glorious Food” echoed through the corridors, and students left rehearsals, merrily singing down the streets.

As we approach the culmination of this remarkable journey, with show nights looming less than two weeks away, a sense of pride envelops us. Reflecting on the progress made since September, we are profoundly proud of the entire cast. Anticipation is building, and we eagerly await the opening night on Tuesday, 5th March.

‘I am excited about Oliver because there is lots of acting which I enjoy a lot. It also involves lots if singing and dancing and I got to do this with my friends. Oliver rehearsals have brought me closer to my friends and I have also made new friends from the experience. I have also enjoyed working with people I don’t normally. It has given me more confidence with my acting and singing’ – Lucas Worthington – Mr Bumble.

AI THINKING WITH US, NOT FOR US

During January we have been having lessons with KS3 and an assembly for KS4 to talk about how to use AI to help their learning, whilst making sure to avoid using AI to do too much for them.

“We want our students to be responsible citizens and we do this by educating them and giving them information so that they can make informed decisions. AI is part of our lives and, therefore, it is our responsibility to educate ourselves and our community to ensure we can use it to enhance our lives and give our students the digital literacy skills that will be in high demand now and in the future” Miss Sheath

What is AI? 

AI, or Artificial Intelligence, is like having a really smart computer that can learn and understand things, just like humans do. There are different types of AI, and two of them are large language models and image generating AI. Large language models (LLMs) are like smart writers. They use pre-existing information from the internet to help them answer questions and write stories, but they don’t actually create new ideas on their own. They are really good at organising and using the information that already exists. However, they can’t check if something makes sense compared to reality, and they can make up facts. As an example of other forms of AI, Image generating AI is like a digital artist. It can create pictures that look real, even though they are made by a computer. But just like the language models, it doesn’t come up with completely new ideas. It uses a lot of pictures that already exist to figure out how to make new ones. So, even though AI is very clever, it still needs humans to give it ideas and information to work with.

Chinese Exchange – With open arms and open minds

As they come to the end of their second week with us, it is clear that all students and staff alike have fully embraced having our wonderful visitors here from Wuxi Foreign Language School as part of Global School Exchanges. 

Our student visitors have taken on board the Cantell Cs (Courtesy, Co-operation, Commitment, Creativity and Challenge) and, along with their student buddy have challenged themselves and tried new things and supported each other with kindness, patience and understanding.  

With students stating they have found the experience to be 

 “Refreshing” “Eye opening” “Enlightening” “Wonderful” “Fun” “Cultural Experience” “Great” 

Dr Barnes, Coordinator, Cantell said “this has been INCREDIBLE” what an opportunity for all of the students involved to learn more about each other’s cultures and to share their experiences.  The programme is certainly expanding our horizons and I am excited to see where things go next.” 

Yi Huang, Director of the College Guidance Office said “Cantell School has provided our students with a rich array of engaging courses, in addition to the core curriculum, the school offers various extracurricular activities, ranging from Aerial Fitness, Golf to Dance and Arts. This diverse set of options ensures that students have the opportunity to develop comprehensively. 

The pleasant and relaxed environment at Cantell School has allowed our students to immerse themselves in a truly authentic British educational experience. It encourages them to step out of their comfort zones, try new things, and foster the courage to interact with peers from different countries. This setting not only enhances their language skills but also promotes personal growth” 

Lewis Bevil, Programme Lead, Global School Exchanges added “It has been such a pleasure to witness the students from Wuxi Foreign Language School develop their knowledge of English and their understanding of British culture. All the students and staff at Cantell school have been so warm and welcoming to us, which has enabled us to be able to provide the best experience possible for our students on the programme. At Global School Exchanges, we are looking to continue to provide memorable experiences to students from China to facilitate further successful cultural exchanges for many years to come” 

We hope that they continue to enjoy their time with us and that this will lead to future collaborations. 

Here is a video summarising their first two weeks with us:

A great start to the new term!

It has been a great start to the term with students back in lessons, working hard and attentive.

As we start the new year our Year 11’s are concentrating hard on their exam preparation. We are also providing extra opportunities for revision sessions. The English revision sessions will be held on Saturday 13th January and Saturday 20th January, students should ask their English teachers for more information.

We also pride ourselves on providing fantastic extra-curricular opportunities and the new PE extra-curricular timetable has been put onto facebook today. If your youngster is interested in any of our amazing clubs, they can find out information and sign up for them on Edulink.

The Languages Faculty have some exciting trips and visits planned this year.  Don’t miss out on your place on our Spanish Exchange 2024 – a fantastic opportunity for our Year 9 and Year 10 students to experience the language and culture of Spain. For more information, please contact katherine.chivers@cantell.co.uk.

It has been such a positive start to the term, and we look forward to keeping you up to date via our regular blog posts.