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History

Washington DC Tour 2019

By | College Trips, Course News, Economics, Government & Politics, History, News, Sociology

Visiting Washington DC in the spring-time was a trip to remember. This year the Wyke cross-college trip was scheduled later in the year, the weather was mild and the iconic cherry blossom trees were in full bloom, as twenty five politics and history students toured Washington DC.

Over the six day break, the group visited all the key monuments, historical sites, educational establishments and political institutions. The Lincoln Memorial and the Martin Luther King Memorial, the White House, Georgetown University, the Smithsonian Museums, Arlington Cemetery and Capitol Hill, were all visited in a packed itinerary. The visit to the Capitol Building was especially rewarding as the Senate was in-session, giving the students the opportunity to observe American politics in action.

The entire trip linked into the A level syllabus, a point that was constantly referenced throughout the tour. James Goodchild, A Level History teacher and John Whitaker, A Level Government & Politics teacher, took it in turns to deliver mini-lectures at all the landmarks. Catherine Eariss, A Level Sociology teacher, also drew connections to the social changes that the USA experienced during the 20th century.

It wasn’t all museum, landmark and statue. Following the success of last year, the group booked in to watch the Washington Wizards basketball game and others went to see an intense baseball match at the newly renovated National’s Park stadium. Add to this there was even time for shopping at the enormous Pentagon Mall.

To see more of Washington DC 2019, search Wyke Washington DC on Instagram or visit the Wyke Flickr account to download and keep.

Planning is already underway for 2020.

students standing in front of the remains of the Berlin Wall

Stasi, Spionage und Showbusiness in Berlin 2019

By | College Trips, Film Studies, German, History, News

In the very wee hours of the morning, the Berlin trip departed from Wyke Sixth Form College for 4 very full days of history, culture, participation in the Berlinale film festival and German language!  17 students, largely from the German and Film departments and 2 staff enjoyed a veritable smorgasbord of activities throughout the week and fell into bed exhausted every night, after averaging 22,000 steps each day!

On the first day we ascended the Berliner Fernsehturm, the tallest building in Europe. In the 1960s, the GDR government arranged to have the TV Tower built at its current location, with the aim of demonstrating the strength and efficiency of the socialist system in mind.  Today the Tower defines the silhouette of Germany’s capital city – a symbol of the reunified Germany, just like the Brandenburg Gate. We also saw a very moving Japanese film called ’37 seconds,’ which followed the struggles of a 23 year-old woman with cerebral palsy as she navigates the world of work and sexual relations. A real eye-opener, providing food for thought for all.

The next day we all visited the highly informative DDR museum, a vast treasure trove of East German artefacts and memorabilia with real insights into life behind the iron curtain. A well-balanced experience, the museum described the underbelly of socialism – how the elite, whilst preaching equality for all, creamed off the luxury goods, had private healthcare and escaped to secret holiday destinations.  The students experienced life in a Stasi prison cell and the lack of creature comforts in the Plattenbauten (GDR concrete apartment blocks). On the other hand the interactive displays described a happy life under socialism – where nature was appreciated, sport was encouraged and a feeling of community was engendered.  Because of the shortage of basic goods and the lack of choice, materialistic consumption was not an issue and people enjoyed sharing with one another, camaraderie and building a life for the greater good.  After time for shopping and eating, which all thoroughly embraced, we headed over to the Zoo Palast for our second film screening, namely ‘Bulbul can sing,’ an Indian European premiere about 3 teenagers on the verge of adulthood.  The experience of first love puts them under the pressure of high expectations and strict moral codes of the villagers, resulting in tragic consequences.  Students gained a real insight into the cultural differences across the globe, especially when the director appeared live on stage to do Q&A.  We also found time to pay our respects to the victims of the terrorist attacks of 2016 when a truck drove through the Berlin Christmas market outside the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedaechtnis-Kirche, a bombed church, deliberately left in its post-war ruined state to act as a daily reminder of the horrors of war.  In the evening, after a delicious curry, we had an audio tour of the Reichstag, the German houses of parliament which had previously been burnt down during Hitler’s reign and had been re-built with a glass dome by architect Norman Foster, enabling one to look down on the government when they are in session, the idea being that the people are ‘above’ the government. Germany’s aim was to create an open building where politics are ‘transparent’ and not hidden, unlike those of the Nazi era. On the return to the hotel, we happened upon a very lively German busker who was keen to indulge their requests – I shall never hear John Denver’s ‘Take me home, country roads’ again without reflecting on how our jolly bunch sang and danced along!

The third day saw us split into 2 groups, in which film students went to see an American teen film about the disappearance and subsequent death of a schoolgirl. The film bordered on experimental and was reported as being somewhat absurd, with the events driving the inhabitants into a nightmare of angst and suddenly revealing strange personal details about themselves. Students found it quite quirky yet sinister, however they appreciated the creativity of the director in her use of bizarre visuals.

The German and history contingent spent the morning meandering down the Bernauer Strasse, a famous ‘memorial street’ which was cleaved in half overnight as the Berlin Wall was constructed. Locals jumped out of their windows to avoid being trapped in the GDR, some being caught in blankets held outstretched by the West German fire brigade. Many of these horrifying escape attempts ended in death and the street tells the poignant stories of many individuals who did not escape unscathed, serving simultaneously as a museum and memorial. The tall visitor centre enabled us all to look at a preserved section of the Todesstreife (death strip) with its bleak watchtowers and barbed wire fencing.  In the afternoon we ventured to the East Side Gallery, the last remaining section of the Wall, 1.3km in length, upon which political / controversial art is exhibited.  Students really enjoyed interpreting the meaning of said art and graffiti, for instance where Honecker is kissing Brezhnev, in a supposedly fraternal gesture of friendship, although many view it as satirical.  Later we all reconvened to visit the Holocaust memorial and to reflect on the horrors and magnitude of the suffering of the Jews under the Nazi regime. The memorial consists of 2711 concrete pillars of varying heights erected on a slope, with the ground underneath undulating.  As you walk deeper into the memorial, the blocks become taller, shutting out the light and you easily become disoriented. Many students experienced uncertainty, a feeling of oppression, a sense of giddiness and felt that the smoothness of the concrete left no way of vertical escape. A moving plenary followed this.  We watched our penultimate film screening at the rather glamorous Haus der Kulturen der Welt which was ‘Guo Chun Tian’, a Chinese film about a teen smuggling iphones across the Hong Kong border, in a bid for independence and to raise money for a long-desired trip abroad. We experienced the ups and downs of the girl’s emotions and experiences and most enjoyed the insight into the people who commute daily between Mainland China and Hong Kong. The subsequent Q&A with the director and main stars was riveting and provided some great tips for budding filmmakers, such as our students!  We then sauntered to the fabulous Lindenbräu restaurant in the impressive Sony Center at Potsdamer Platz where we all gorged on some very tasty and satisfying Bavarian fare.

Our final day saw us heading to Checkpoint Charlie, a famous crossing point on the Berlin Wall and was accompanied by a trip to the Mauermuseum there: Haus am Checkpoint Charlie where gruesome stories and documents describe attempts to escape over, under or through the Berlin wall; many of which were near misses.  In the afternoon we split off again with the German students delving into the very strange world of global secret service organisations at the interactive Spionage Museum.  Upon discovering an early German enigma machine and other gadgets utilised by secret agents, I fear our students were a little too keen to join MI6! They rather overlooked the whole ‘risking your life’ element and assassinations by Bulgarian umbrella.  The film students were meanwhile watching a screening of ‘We are little zombies’, a tale of 4 orphaned Japanese children and their lives after the deaths of their parents, involving a good dose of tragedy, comedy and social criticism, as they start a rock band together.   Finally, after a hearty lunch and final chance to spend our remaining Euros in the Arkaden at Potsdamer Platz, we hefted our luggage back to Schoenefeld airport in readiness for our return flight to Manchester. We were back at Wyke at 0100 on Friday morning, exhausted but uplifted.

The trip participants were absolute an absolute pleasure to lead around Berlin. Punctual, organised, enthusiastic and at all times respectful – even waiters commented on their politeness and overall comportment.  They soaked up all the experiences offered to them, asked pertinent questions and were cautiously adventurous. Harvi and I thoroughly enjoyed our time with them – they were a delight, keenly trying out new foods and Berlin specialities.  Have any of you tried Currywurst, a Spezi, Kaiserschmarren, Gulasch mit Knödel und Rotkraut, a proper Turkish Döner or a KiBa? Go on. I dare you.

 

Heather Lorch

Teacher of German

Wyke opens the door to Oxbridge

By | Accounting, Biology, Chemistry, Course News, Economics, English, French, Geography, German, Government & Politics, History, Law, Mathematics, Music, News, Physchology, Physics, Religious Studies, Sociology, Spanish

Wyke Sixth Form College is a leading institution for supporting students across the region to access Oxford and Cambridge, the often cited ‘top two universities in the world.’

Each year, Wyke provides a valuable stepping stone for those wishing to secure places at these prestigious universities. In 2018, we celebrated a record number of students in doing so, with 9 students going on to study a wide variety of courses from Law to Biomedical Science.

The successful students came from state schools all across Hull, East Riding and North Lincolnshire from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds.

One of these students, Bridget Allenby of Cottingham High School said; “I am happy and over the moon right now. To be lucky enough to secure one of the 40 places available on the course is a huge achievement. Coming to Wyke has been a great step for me to take for my future.”

This exceptional outcome is a combined result of fantastic students working with excellent A Level specialist teacher’s in an outstanding college. We also have a dedicated Flyers Programme to help support students aspiring to Oxbridge and Russell Group universities.

In the current environment, were top universities tend to favour students from private schools and particular parts of the UK, this is demonstration that Wyke, an inclusive sixth form provider is going above and beyond in supporting all students in achieving their potential.

Transformers: The Last Knight

King of the Screen

By | Community, Drama & Theatre, English, Film Studies, History, Media, News, On Campus, Performing Arts

If you’ve recently streamed the latest Transformers movie you may have spotted a former Wyke student in the cast.

Liam Garrigan plays the role of the legendary King Arthur in a scene narrated by Anthony Hopkins in the latest instalment of the global sci-fi franchise “Transformers: The Last Knight”. After studying A level Theatre Studies, History and English Literature at Wyke, Liam attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Soon after graduating from drama school Liam became a household name, playing the role of Nic Yorke in the BBC TV drama Holtby City. Since then he has appeared in a number of film, television and theatre productions in both the UK and USA.

In between his busy schedule, Liam finds the time to return to Wyke to offer advance to our current performing arts students. Drama teacher Andy Feetom says that having regular input from working actors is invaluable. “Alongside Liam, we have also had talks from other successful former Wyke students, such as Rob Aramayo (Harley and the Davidsons, Game of Thrones) and Marc Pickering (Sleep Hollow, Boardwalk Empire). The students really appreciate the opportunity to question former students who had been there and done it.”

At present, the Drama department are in the early stages of this year’s cross-college production, “P T Barnum, the Greatest Showman”. For further information on the college’s outstanding drama and performing arts provision, visit Wyke at our up-coming open events.

Wyke Marks 100th Anniversary of Armistice

By | Community, Course News, Government & Politics, History, Religious Studies

This week, Peter Jackson’s film “They Shall Not Grow Old” will be shown every lunchtime on the Wyke big screen as the college commemorates the centenary of the end of the First World War.

The screening will also be supported by poppy sales, fact sheets and word searches. James Goodchild and Andy Bentley from the History department are encouraging all students to participant. James said, “I think it’s important that all our students are aware of the significance of this particular Remembrance Sunday. We would also like other subjects at Wyke to link their lessons to this historical occasion.”

As part of the A Level History curriculum, a party of students and staff are visiting Belgium later this month on a Battlefield Tour.

Copies of Peter Jackson’s film are being distributed to all schools and colleges in the UK. The trailer for this amazing piece of work is available on YouTube and will be broadcast of the BBC.

Battlefield Tour

History Prepare for Battle

By | College Trips, Course News, English, Geography, History, News, Sociology
After last years successful visit to Belgium, the History department are organising another trip to the Flemish countryside to include next years first year students.
 
James Goodchild, Head of History at Wyke, is taking deposits of £75 from current students who want to be on the three day visit. The total cost is estimated to be £295.
 
The tour takes in some of the most famous sites from World War One, including Ypres and Vimy Ridge. The visit also extends to the Napoleonic Wars, visiting the Hougoumont farmhouse, a key location from the Battle of Waterloo.
 
Photographs from last years trip are currently on our Flickr site
 
Contact James Goodchild by email at james.goodchild@wyke.ac.uk for further information. There is also a pdf handout with details of the itinerary, travel and accommodation to download.
Washington DC

Wyke Make Washington Great Again

By | College Trips, Course News, Economics, Government & Politics, History, Law, News

From watching the speeding Trump motorcade to cheering on the Washington Wizards, the annual Wyke trip to DC was certainly action packed.

For six days a group of twenty two students with an interest in politics and history toured the US capital taking in all the key monuments, museums and heritage sites. After the 23 hour journey, day one was dedicated to travel.

Day two took in Union Station as the starting point to pick up the “Washington DC Big Bus Tour”. This hop-on, hop-off service allowed the students to see the majestic monuments to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln. The day finished at the Capital One Area to watch the Washington Wizards take on the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA league. After over 22 thousand steps it was time to head back to the hotel.

Day two started with a tour of the Capitol Building with an opportunity to witness the Senate and House of Representatives in action. From there the group went to Arlington Cemetery, the burial ground of the Kennedys and the site of the Unknown Soldier. The day concluded with a fun visit to Madame Tussauds and a night tour bus to see the spectacular cityscape illuminated.

Thursday was museum day. Starting off at the National Archive, students saw the closely guarded Declaration of Independence and a special exhibition on the Vietnam War. In the afternoon students elected to visit the National Air and Space Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Museum of the American Indian and the Holocaust Museum. At the end of the day the group came together for a meal back at the hotel.

The final day divided into a visit to the White House, followed by a frantic shopping spree at the Pentagon City Mall. Wow, what a trip. To see what happened, visit the Wyke Flickr page https://www.flickr.com/photos/44105515@N05/albums/72157692859194381

Here’s to next year!

James Goodchild

Culmination of Five Years of Research

By | Course News, Government & Politics, History, News

A level History teacher James Goodchild is celebrating the publishing of his latest book. “A Most Enigmatic War” recounts the history of scientific intelligence during the Second World War. The text focuses on the memories of R. V. Jones, a pioneer in the development of scientific intelligence in the conflict against the Axis powers.

The research builds on the work James carried out when he was studying for his PhD in Modern History at the University of Exeter. James began teaching A level History at Wyke in 2015 with the course becoming one of the fastest growing subjects at Wyke with over 250 level three students.

When reflecting on his achievement James said, “It is great to finally have this extensive research published, and I would be delighted if in anyway it could inspire Wyke College students to undertake high quality research at University after their A-Levels.

No doubt the students I teach find it amusing when I get so excited about the history of science, technology and intelligence, especially when it relates to warfare (as it does so often with Y2 History), but equally I appreciate the impressions of fascination that are generated in the classroom when I discuss these issues in lessons. I would be happy to offer any advice on the University path from A-Level to doctorate to any student at Wyke, from any subject – please come and find me!”

Reviews from the wider public have encouraged James to begin writing a follow-up book that examines the emergence of scientific and technological intelligence in the First World War.

“A Most Enigmatic War” is published by Helion & Company Limited and is widely available from high street and online book retailers.

Oxbridge Applications

Record Number of Oxbridge Offers

By | Biology, Chemistry, Course News, Criminology, Economics, English, French, Geography, German, History, Mathematics, Music, News, Physics, Spanish

Wyke Sixth Form College is celebrating a record number of students receiving Oxbridge offers for September 2018.

This year, eleven students have received offers, with two students offered a place onto a course with just 35 places available nationally.

Assistant Principal and Coordinator of the Flyers Programme Jamie Davies said, “we are thrilled that a record number of students have received Oxbridge offers for September 2018. I would like to pass on my congratulations to all of the students and it is a testament to their enthusiasm, dedication and hard work. They have all taken extra enrichment activities, completed Extended Project Qualifications and participated in workshops and interview preparation events supported by staff at Wyke along with the University of Oxford, the University of Hull and industry professionals from the local area to support their applications.”