Your article: Opening young people’s minds to new concepts

Pictured with the enigma machine are (back) Jack Rhodes, Selina Dakin, Tom Briggs from Bletchley Park, Alyssa Cope, Owen Sellars (front) Millie Casemore and Billy Salmon.
Pictured with the enigma machine are (back) Jack Rhodes, Selina Dakin, Tom Briggs from Bletchley Park, Alyssa Cope, Owen Sellars (front) Millie Casemore and Billy Salmon.

Personal development days are being held at The Market Weighton School to address a number of personal, social, cultural, health and motivational subjects.

The ethos behind personal development days is to make the learning environment different, to change the mind-set of youngsters at the school and to open their minds to new concepts through a day which is different to the norm.

The school’s third personal development day of this academic year was held recently and the whole school participated in many different events.

Year 7 spent the morning learning about VE Day and in the afternoon they worked with the maths department looking at the principles of flight, stability and fuel. Students then designed and built their own bottle rockets which were successfully launched from the school field. Year 8 students also studied VE Day and were lucky enough to use a real Enigma machine, which was demonstrated by Tom Briggs from the Bletchley Park Education Outreach Programme. They were given a general introduction to the history of codes and ciphers from the time of Julius Caesar to the present day. This included a brief history of Bletchley Park and the feats of ingenuity, intellect and invention that were performed there. They were then given a demonstration of a genuine Enigma machine. This was followed with a hands-on code breaking workshop in which participants got to grips with making and breaking codes and ciphers using methods actually used by cryptologists in the past. Year 8 also participated in Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) training from the Prison Me No Way CEOP team. Year 9 students travelled to Hull University for the day. Led by head of year 9 Paul Ollett, students attended ACE Day, a programme designed to address some of the misconceptions students have about university. It is designed to increase awareness of further and higher education and to raise aspirations. Year 10 students spent the day looking at their future options with visitors from Selby, Wyke, Hull, South Hunsley and East Riding colleges. Year 11 students spent the day looking at road safety with a team from Humberside Fire Service. Students had the chance to ride in a crash car simulator which replicates a real life road accident and then examine the reasons why the driver caused the accident.