Focus Day

Thursday 23rd November was Cornwallis Academy's first focus day of the academic year. Each year group had different activities and workshops to participate in, all of the students really enjoyed the tasks and challenges faced on the day. 



Year 7 - Anti-bullying

This years Anti-bullying theme was ‘All different, All equal’. The aims of the focus day project was to…

  • Empower children to celebrate what makes them, and others, unique 
  • Help children to understand how important it is that every child feels valued and included in school, able to be themselves, without fear of bullying

Year 7 students took part in a variety of workshops throughout the day led by their tutors which included…

  • What is bullying?,
  • The different types of bullying
  • Writing an anti-bullying pledge
  • How ‘banter’ and ‘teasing’ can go too far
  • The difference between ‘grassing’ and ‘telling’
  • Creating anti-bullying posters
  • Identifying types of bullying within a film
  • Signposting for advice and support

Miss Bashford’s tutor group even created a song about standing up to bullies which we will be getting recorded!

In Year 7 we also took 40 Year 7s on a trip to the University of Kent. The aim of the trip was to explore future pathways and raise aspirations.

Year 8 - 'Apprentice' task  

Year 8 completed an ‘Apprentice’ style task where they were asked to produce a new board game for the Christmas market. The task was introduced to them by their tutors and they were asked to get into teams of 5 or 6. Each team member had key roles, such a product designer and marketing. A team leader was also assigned for each group, who would then liaise with the tutor for any needs.

The students took charge of the challenge and set to work straight away. They were told to be as creative as they could possibly be. Not only did they have to make the game but they also had to produce rules, packaging, advertising and also a jingle.

The whole day was an extremely positive experience and the students were fantastic. The game’s produced were extremely creative and the groups were judged within their tutor groups. Students marked each team on their game, marketing and advert. Tutors then also marked each team on their teamwork. I think we could safely say that a lot of teams would definitely be hired if they were put in front of the board in the boardroom! Well done year 8.

Year 9 - Options aplenty 

The year 9 students participated in a range of different activities looking at GCSE options and PSHE specialising in relationships education.

Students got the opportunity to experience taster sessions in Media, Travel, Business and PE in order to gain an understanding of what the courses incorporated and whether they would like to take them as an option for their GCSE’s.

Theatre Ed also visited Cornwallis to deliver ‘Behind Closed Doors’ their Relationships Education programme.  The programme touched on a number of issues that are highly relevant to teenagers. Students got the opportunity to watch a performance and also participate in a group discussion allowing them to have their questions answered.

Year 10 - Life skills and lessons 

The Year 10s took a great deal out of their Focus Day and the activities they completed with Bright Futures. The two facilitators did a great job and afterwards were very positive about our students. Year 10 students also were very praiseworthy of the experience. The Bright Futures programme covered a range of entrepreneurial and team building activities.

They also received a powerful assembly from the mother of a former Cornwallis student who was the victim of knife crime in the Maidstone area and sadly passed away as a result in 2011.

Around 60 students also received DT/Food intervention sessions throughout the day. Pupils were fine tuning the skills which will be used in June when they receive their coursework task from the exam board. The day looked at materials in use sustainable supply chains and fair trade.  Pupils were really engaged in the practical activities and had a really positive experience.

Year 11 - Preparation, preparation

With year 11 so close to the end of their schooling, today focused on several aspects, with students targeted in specific areas.

The day largely focused on English, Maths and Science with student’s participating in a number of active workshops, where they were challenged, engaged and achieved.

These sessions allowed students to ask questions and take ownership of their learning. In addition to this, a group of Year 11 pupils had the opportunity to work closely with Precious Babatunde, the Regional Manager and Trainer for the Speakers Trust, who delivered a fantastic Future voices Public Speaking and interviewing skills workshop.  At the end of this session all students who participated received an official certificate and a number of students were offered the opportunity to develop their skills further by entering a National competition.

Many students felt that this day helped them to develop some much needed confidence to believe in their abilities and future prospects at this crucial time in their education.

Today also seen the start of our ‘future meetings’ with the sixth form team, part of our dedication to ensuring all of our year 11 students have an appropriate destination identified for after year 11.

Year 5 outreach project  

We were joined on our November focus day by some of the students of Tiger Primary and Boughton Monchelsea Primary, for a year 5 more able day.

The theme of the day was Harry Potter as students complete a carousel of lessons with Harry at the core of each. 

The day started with an English session lead by Miss Hilden, she spoke to student about their knowledge of alliteration and ensured that all were in receipt of their pen licence prior to starting!  Through the lesson students worked on their own spells and produced some exciting pieces.

Next up was Maths, with Mr. Parr and Miss Alcorn, they worked through costings in the muggle world verses the prices of items in the wizarding world.  Students were keen to get on and worked hard to complete all the tasks. The finale was a mathematical competition which saw Isobel of Tiger Primary beat the last young man standing.

After a break for lunch the art of potion making begun, courtesy of Professor Blight! Students used dragons blood with a variety of other chemicals to create fire and smoke! Students were excellent and represented their primary schools superbly.  At the end of the day they were awarded their owl certificates, all asked had fun and would love to do the day again.

A big thank-you to the staff of Cornwallis, the primary schools for allowing their attendance and the children for being so engaged and involved.

Sixth Form  

The sixth form students completed a day full of activities focused around preparation for university and the world of work including:

  • CV writing
  • Interview skills
  • What next? University, Apprenticeships or the world of work
  • Budgeting for living alone
  • Apprenticeships - finding and applying for the right apprenticeship for you

Students engaged well in an exciting day where they got to meeting industry professionals and network with staff members from a range of universities.