Chatting with Channing – Episode 3

In our latest episode we’re speaking to Charity Officers, Eliza and Hannah.

They’ll talk us through what the role of Charity Officer entails, CAMFED  (the charity Channing is supporting this year), why charity is so important at Channing School and what other support they provide at the school.

But we’ll also get to hear about the upcoming events they have planned, as well as some advice Eliza and Hannah would give to younger pupils interested in charity work.

Listen here, or click the link to listen on your favourite podcast platform:

Chatting with Channing – Episode 2

In our second episode we’re speaking to Head of the Junior School, Miss Dina Hamalis, as well as some Junior School pupils.

Miss Hamalis explores what makes Channing School special, what it’s like seeing the girls at Channing learn and grow and tell us all about the Channing promise.

But we also hear from some of our pupils, what they love about the school and some of the questions they have for Miss Hamalis too.

Listen here, or click the link to listen on your favourite podcast platform:

‘Brontë’ by Polly Teale

On Tuesday 30th November Year 13 Drama and Theatre Studies students staged extracts from ‘Brontë’ by Polly Teale, using Shared Experience’s unique blend of naturalism and expressionism to present their scenes. The Component 3 examination showcased their physical theatre skills, characterisation and sought to explain the three Brontë sisters’ lives, which were often misunderstood. The audience were invited into their struggles to make their mark on the literary world as women (they wrote under the nom de plumes of Currer, Ellis & Acton Bell) and the impact of their father and brother on the choices. The piece flits between the fantasy world of the sisters’ novels and their lived experience – period costume and striking design choices made this a memorable interpretation and a visual treat for the audience.

Chatting with Channing – Episode 1

We are delighted to launch the first episode of our brand new podcast series: Chatting with Channing. Chatting with Channing lets the listener find out more about our wonderful school by hearing from people throughout the school community. Each episode, they’ll hear real stories from staff, pupils, parents and alumnae, to give a true reflection of life on Highgate Hill.

And in our very first episode, we’re speaking to our Headmistress, Mrs Lindsey Hughes. Lindsey explains what it means when you hear the phrase, ‘Girls enjoying success’, she talks about the importance of being 10% braver, and we also hear about pastoral care and the educational research the staff get involved in.

We also get to find out a little bit more about Lindsey herself, how she might choose to spend her time when she’s not in school.

We hope you’ll listen along and sign up so you can receive alerts when a new episode launches. Please let us know what you think and if you have any great ideas for future episodes, or even if you’d like to be interviewed yourself!

Listen here, or click the link to listen on your favourite podcast platform:

Year 13 Art Students visit Barbican Centre and the Whitechapel Gallery.

On Tuesday Year 13 Art students visited the Barbican Centre and the Whitechapel Gallery. At the Barbican they were able to learn about the sculptural installations of Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi who incorporates both Japanese and Western visual elements in his work. Students also experienced the sound installation of Shilpa Gupta, a Mumbai based artist whose work raises urgent questions around censorship and resistance.

At the Whitechapel Gallery students were treated to an array of contemporary ceramics, including the large scale ceramic installations of Theaster Gates and Simone Fattal. Yoko Ono’s Mend Piece was a highlight: visitors were invited to take broken fragments of cups and saucers along with simple materials for repair – scissors, glue, twine and tape. After ‘mending’ the pieces, students’ contributions were put on display as part of a larger installation.

Interview Skills Event

On Monday 15 November, Years 12 and 13 were privileged to have the opportunity to attend an interview skills practice event, where they were able to practice important interview skills with the help of 60 professionals at Channing and another 15 online. The afternoon started with a talk from Carlos Gomez. He explained the key skills needed to succeed in an interview and discussed how presentation and personability were just as important as the content you were discussing, if not more so. After the talk, we then had the opportunity to practice what we had been taught.

I (Rosie) attended mock medical interviews with parents who had volunteered to help us. For example, I spoke with one of the interviewers about a medical question regarding ethics. This interested and challenged me to approach the subject, and questions on it, in a different way. This opportunity enabled me to practice my presentation and thinking skills, as well as aiding my overall confidence when it comes to medical interviews.

I (Talia) had 4 interviews with 4 different parents where I was interviewing for the role of Theatre Assistant (this was one of the three job options we could choose from). I was asked questions that could and would be asked in most types of interviews such as ‘has there ever been a point in your life where you have faced a challenge?’ or ‘what does the word team mean to you?’ in which I was able to answer with personal experiences and after answering these questions I was given feedback. For example, giving background on a question sets you apart from others. I also really enjoyed getting to ask the parents what they did and how they found their way into their current profession.

Overall, I really enjoyed the evening and I feel incredibly lucky that the Careers Department created the event for us and so many parents and friends of Channing gave up their time to help us learn essential life skills. I look forward to using the skills that I worked on in my University interview this weekend and also in the future!

Rosie and Talia, Year 13

Translation Workshop and Meet the Author – Dr. Clémentine Beauvais

Year 11 Translation Workshop

Last Friday for Languages Week, we were very lucky to have Dr. Clémentine Beauvais come to Channing to deliver an excellent translation workshop to Year 11 French pupils. Dr. Beauvais is a French author of popular children and young adult fiction as well as a translator and professor at the University of York. She is the author of more than a dozen books, of which; ‘Brexit Romance’, ‘Songe à la Douceur’ and ‘Les Petites Reines’. She is the French translator of Carnegie-medal winners Sarah Crossan and Elizabeth Acevedo, and has translated two novels by Meg Rosoff as well as JK Rowling’s most recent novel, ‘The Ickabog’.

Dr. Beauvais led an inspiring and engaging workshop. She asked the pupils to think about what it means exactly to translate and what one needs to consider when translating. She also spoke about how she came to be a translator, which was being too impatient to wait for the French translation of ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ to be published so she decided to translate it herself!

Dr. Beauvais then showed the Year 11s an extract from the Belgian poet Lisette Lombé’s slam performance of ‘C’est le temps du vin blanc’.The Year 11s had to translate the poem, not just focusing on the meaning of the words and the message of the poem but also the meter, alliteration and rhymes. The pupils then had the opportunity to recite their translations to the class and to Dr. Beauvais, who was very impressed with the quality of their work.

Meet the Author – Dr. Clémentine Beauvais – A level Pupils

Having read part of Dr. Clémentine Beauvais’ novel, ‘Songe à la Douceur’, French A level pupils had the opportunity to meet her for a Q&A session conducted entirely in French. Each A level pupil asked her a set of questions which they had prepared in advance. They asked all about the novel which is written in verse and loosely based on Pushkin’s ‘Eugene Onegin’ and Tchaikovsky’s opera version. They also asked about her other novels as well as her career as a writer, translator and professor. Meeting Dr. Beauvais enabled the pupils to practise their speaking and listening skills in an authentic way. Not only did she give a greater insight into ‘Songe à la Douceur’, which was fascinating, but she also explained how she got into writing in the first place, what her day to day looks like, as well as her greatest culture shocks living in England. Dr. Clémentine Beauvais really engaged with the pupils, leading a most interesting discussion.

Languages Week Reports

This has been the biggest and best Languages Week at Channing yet. Our usual classes have been suspended to allow our students to take part in exciting cultural events.

The MFL Poetry Competition was in our Monday morning assembly and kicked off the week. This was the third and final round of the competition and the students’ performances were inspiring. Congratulations to:

Key Stage 3

  • Rory D (French)
  • Elizabeth S (German)
  • Thea F (Spanish)

Key Stage 4

  • Rosie P(French)
  • Margo G (German)
  • Bluebell H (Spanish)

Key Stage 5

  • Alia K (French)
  • Lucie B (Spanish)
  • Maria K (Mandarin)

The winner will be announced in Mark Reading at the end of term.

Year 7 Spanish – World Trade Game

In this cultural event, groups were assigned a Latin American country and given a fact file about the types of materials that they export.They had varying budgets, according to the wealth of their countries, and had to buy materials from the teacher to create a prototype of a product that they would sell.They then decided in their teams who would be the buyers and sellers. The creativity was amazing!

Year 8 Spanish – Spread the Word

Our keynote speaker, Alison Prunier, spoke to pupils about the role of languages within the World Health Organisation. Pupils were then tasked with creating a character for the WHO, writing a tweet and creating a preventative poster on one of the following topics:

○ Dog with rabies ○ Safe drinking water ○ The importance of vaccinations ○ Road safety

Year 9 German – Goethe Institut Visit

On 8 November, along with around 19 other German students, Frau Stöckmann, Frau Pavlopoulos and I got on the Tube into London to visit the Goethe Institut. The Goethe Institut is a German cultural association which operates globally with 159 institutes, promoting the study of the German language abroad and encouraging international cultural exchange and relations.

We came down to eat an early lunch in the dining hall before assembling to practise our German headcount as we prepared to leave (each of us with a different number to call out in German). Then with Frau Stöckmann leading the way and Frau Pavlopoulos bringing up the rear we headed down to Archway station, chatting excitedly. We then poured onto two trains before we exited at South Kensington station. In the very short walk to our final destination we took in the beautiful location, admiring the Natural History Museum’s festive lights and Christmas Tree. We soon arrived and took a group picture to preserve the moment before we proceeded up the stairs into the building. The walls were vibrant and the people were welcoming and we were greeted immediately by our guide who told us a bit about the Institut.

We then had a talk by a student named Daisy, who studies at Imperial College London and who took time out of her busy schedule to talk to us about her experiences of studying German and Science at university. She talked engagingly to us as the audience, explaining her course, exchange trips, experience when working in Germany, work-life balance and so much more. She explained herself with such clarity and enthusiasm and we all couldn’t help but take in every word. I and, I know everyone else listening, was fascinated and we all asked many questions which she informatively responded to. Overall I personally think this talk was the most interesting and engaging talk I have heard. We all thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from it.

Next we went upstairs to visit the library where we were able to have a look around. There were thousands of books from all different genres and it even had books to support the learning of German and fun German magazines. The library also had an interactive installation called Seat #12. This seat, pictured below, was created to rely on teamwork and communication to function (it tipped if unbalanced) and as you can imagine we all enjoyed having a go.

We then went outside to sit and eat our snacks and were surprised with the German branded ‘Choco Leibniz’ biscuits, Lindt chocolates and ladybird chocolates which correlates to our class name:‘ Die Marienkäfer’ (the ladybirds ?). I was then further surprised as everyone sang happy birthday to me (in German of course) as my birthday had been the day before. I was kindly gifted a German mask which I wore on the journey home.

Our final activity of the trip was watching the movie Das Wunder von Bern (The Miracle of Bern), a 2003 film directed by Sönke Wortmann. It tells the story of a young boy and his depressed ex-POW father, and the unexpected West German miracle victory in the 1954 World Cup Final in Bern, Switzerland. This was my first time watching a movie in German with English subtitles and I really enjoyed it. I think it was a great way to combine education with enjoyment and a great way to conclude the trip.

Overall I had a really great time and so would like to thank both Frau Stöckmann and Frau Pavlopoulos for taking us.

Thandie H, Year 9

Year 9 French – Cinema workshop

On Wednesday, Year 9 French pupils had an online workshop with Muriel Huet, a French-speaking educational consultant at the British Film Institute. Through the use of two short films ‘Les Crayons’ (The Pencils) and ‘Le Baiser’ (The Kiss), Muriel showed them the importance of soundtracks, camera shots and angles and of course plot twists for short films. The workshop, which was led in French, had a range of activities. Pupils had to guess the film genre simply by listening to the soundtrack, they identified different camera shots, they wrote scripts, described characters and reviewed the films. The workshop gave them the opportunity to use the French language in a fun and interactive way, they learnt new vocabulary and they gained a greater insight into what key elements a short film should have.

Year 10 Spanish – Marketing workshop

Our keynote speaker, Sally Fagan, spoke about the role of languages in the world of marketing, especially in the transcreation of a product. Pupils had to rebrand ‘Jelly Babies’ with a Spanish name, slogan and advert.

Year 10 French – History of Art workshop

During this year’s Languages Week, our French class met with Alice Odin, a member of the Courtauld institute of Art to discuss various pieces of French art virtually, including Edouard Manet’s ‘A Bar at the Folies-Bergère’. We began by discussing the main components of the painting in French, going on to sketch our own impressions of the artwork. Additionally, prompted by paintings such as ‘The Theatre Box’, we went on to discuss the French post-impressionist art movement as a whole whilst being encouraged to look further than just what we could see in the painting. Overall, the workshop gave us an insight into French history and culture, allowing us to explore the language we are studying even further.

Erica M, Year 10

Year 11 Spanish – Space Hotel

Jack Lidgley is a software engineer and research scientist who spoke about how he has used his Spanish language skills throughout his career. Students learnt about some of the obstacles to space travel and ways to overcome them. They had to design their own space hotel and perform a promotional advertisement in Spanish.

Year 10, 11, 12 and 13 – Dr Philip Hirsch

As part of Languages Week, students with an interest in the fields of diplomacy and/or languages attended a talk from Dr Phillip Hirsch of the German Embassy. This fascinating talk covered the principle of diplomacy and various projects he has undertaken, including one in the Middle East where he worked to prevent violent extremism. Dr Hirsch also made clear the power and importance of language as a tool to connect with others, and emphasised how making an effort to learn somebody’s language can be a sign of respect (even if you are not completely successful!). The talk was extremely insightful for those considering a career in diplomacy, and gave us more of an understanding of the opportunities unlocked by learning a language.

Annabel G, Year 13

Year 9, 12 & 13 Spanish – flamenco workshop

Students learnt about the history of the flamenco tradition and then some basic moves. ¡Olé!

Music at Lunchtime – Friday 5th November

Musical fireworks were the order of the day for our Music at Lunchtime to end our first week back. With performances from students in Year 7 to 13 it was lovely to see the whole community represented. The singers Susie D, Margo R, Alanna F and Celia G treated us to a huge and delightful variety of songs ranging from ‘My Grandfather’s Clock’, ‘Any Dream Will Do’ and ‘Poor Wayfaring Stranger’ to ‘Vieni o mio diletto’ by Vivaldi. Eve C delighted us again with her Double Bass and ‘A Deep Song’ by J Walton. This short, sonorous and melodic piece provided ample opportunity to explore the rich depths of this instrument. It was left to Imogen B (Violin) whose pyrotechnic finger and bow work in ‘Fantasie No7’ by Telemann sent us off with a sparkle in our eyes.

Do listen to the recital here: