Parent Update: 25th March 2020
I hope the week has begun positively for you all and that we are facing the challenges of the current situation head on together. Our staff are working hard to maintain the continuity of education for your children via the work they set online. Although there have been one or two teething problems, mainly caused by the high volume of people using home learning websites nationwide, the new system is holding up impressively so far. We have had lots of positive communication from pupils and parents so far and we are really impressed by the quality and quantity of work being completed by our young people. Congratulations also to Mason Elliot who was the first person in the school to submit a piece of work by email as part of the new system!
I want to reiterate how important it is to make sure that each day has a purpose and a structure. Breaking our usual routines can be confusing and unsettling, so it’s vital that we do things that keep us mentally and physically sharp and that provide us with a sense of achievement during this unexpected spell at home.
As a parent myself I understand the challenges we all face during this difficult time, but I want to remind you that we do not face these challenges alone. We are at the end of a computer or a phone if you or your child need us throughout this period.
To make up for the fact that school assemblies are not currently happening, members of staff at the school are going to be recording assemblies for parents and pupils to listen to while the school is closed. Our first one is on the history of vaccinations with Mr Fordham (Vice Principal).
Hopefully everyone now is getting the idea of how to access work using Show My Homework. As work is handed in, teachers are now recording who has completed work. This is important as it will help us identify where pupils have not completed work, so that we can phone home next week. This little video clip is a sneak preview of the system that we are using.
If pupils are worried about getting work done in time, then they should email their teacher.
Excellent Work in History
Today’s Star of the Week goes to James Foot in Year 9 who wrote an excellent essay on the causes of the Russian Revolution. You can read his essay below:
Why did Russia become a communist state?
After the October 1917 Revolution, Lenin and the Bolsheviks seized control of Russia. After winning a Civil War against the ‘whites’, Russia had become a communist state. There are multiple causes of this, some of which are long-term developments and some short-term catalysts. The principal causes of Russia becoming a communist state were, firstly, Karl Marx’s ideas and how these challenged the Tsarist system, secondly, anger at Tsar Nicholas II and the impact of the First World War and, finally, the actions of revolutionaries such as Lenin and Trotsky. Although all of these causes played a role in Russia becoming communist, I would argue that the actions of revolutionaries at the time had the largest impact.
To begin, I will discuss Karl Marx and how his ideas challenged the Tsarist system. Marx was a German philosopher who lived during the nineteenth century. He wrote many influential books such as Das Kapital and the Communist Manifesto. In his writings, Marx had his own theory of history that begins with feudalism, followed by capitalism, then ‘the workers would seize the means of production’ in revolution, leading onto socialism and, finally, ending in communism. In what Marx wrote, he described the idea of communism. Communism is having property held in common and people working for the good of society. During Marx’s time, his books didn’t have much of an effect on society then, however, during the early twentieth century it became much more popular and influential as time went on. People such as Vladimir Lenin began to read and believe in the ideas that Marx put forward and how Russia had remained in its Tsarist (feudal) society. Were it not for the writings of Karl Marx, people like Lenin may have never come to push for a communist Russia and it may have never come to be.
Although Marx’s ideas and beliefs may have played a key role in the creation of a communist Russia, the fact that people were angry at Tsar Nicholas II and the impact the First World War had on the country also had a very much important part to play. There are a number of reasons as to why the people of Russia could have become angry at the Tsar and his heritage. The first of these would be the many wars that the monarchy had thrown Russia into which ended in their defeat. For example, the Russians launched a war on the Japanese in an attempt to gain land called the Russo-Japanese war which they lost. It was due to events such as this that led to early revolutions against the Tsarist system. On one occasion, in 1905, known as ‘Bloody Sunday’, protesters were outside the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg when the Tsar’s troops opened fire upon the people. This would have caused large amounts of anger amongst the population of Russia. The presence of Rasputin within the royal family also caused issues. Many people at the time did not like the influence Rasputin was having on the family and Russia itself. In addition, the loss of the First World War became a tipping point for the revolution of February 1917 within Russia. This military failure caused large loss of the habitable land the nation already possessed, poverty and starvation across the country and, of course, the eventual devastation of the Russian economy. Were it not for the actions of the Tsar and his military failures, a February revolution may have never occurred, failing to prompt a later October Communist one.
Even though the Tsar may have had a large impact on communism within Russia, revolutionaries such as Vladimir Lenin who had read the works of Karl Marx could have also impacted this greatly. Lenin was a Russian man; however, he had studied in Germany for quite a bit of time. Lenin was a member of the Bolsheviks who seized control over Russia in October 1917. His brother had been a great activist in the struggle to achieve a communist Russia; however, he was executed for his attempt on Tsar Alexander III’s life. Were it not for this, Lenin may have not become such a large influencer of the time. However, Lenin only became an important activist after the February revolution. After overthrowing the Tsar, Kerensky attempted to set up a democracy in Russia. However, Kerensky was a poor leader and people like Lenin and Trotsky inspired the Russian people to make the country communist led to his early downfall. After the October revolution Lenin and the Bolsheviks took control and formed the communist Soviet Union.
In conclusion, I would argue that without the large push for a communist state from activists like Lenin, the events of Russian history may have never taken place. Even though I would argue this is the most important cause, without Marx and the Tsar’s actions these activists may have never have achieved their goal or been inspired by communism in the first place.
Our extra-curricular programme is really heating up now, with cooking joining music, art, maths and science with activities for pupils to do. There is a £10 Amazon voucher available for the best submission each week. Other clubs will be starting this week in PE, DT and English.
Mr Carroll’s Chickens
The sunshine and warmth outside is clearly a sign that spring is underway, and some members of staff have been taking their lunch breaks out in their gardens! Mr Carroll (Head of Business and IT) has sent us this photograph of some of his chickens and a fresh egg.
Your Exercise at Home
With the government now limiting the amount of time you can spend outside, it is all the more important that pupils are getting their exercise at home. The PE department has shared with pupils lots of examples of exercises they can do from their own home. These can be found here.