Goalball is a Paralympic team sport designed specifically for the visually impaired. Participants compete in teams of three, and try to throw a ball that has bells embedded in it into the opponents’ goal. Eyeshades worn by all players allow enabled players to compete on an equal footing with visually impaired players.
During the session students and staff were given crucial tips on how to improve their technique and playing style, such as developing communication techniques that help identify the location of the ball and who is in play. Students at the Academy with visual impairment found the game very liberating and playing has given them and enormous confidence boost.
The our VI Specialist, Esta Bernardini, who will also be the teams coach said: “It’s been really inspiring for our visually impaired students to realise that they can achieve things in sport and they are able to play alongside sighted friends, equally. It’s a totally inclusive activity so everyone can join in, we are hoping to progress the Goalball Team and look into the possibility of a more structured league. We have been told that there is already some real talent amongst our players, some of whom have been invited to the Goalball UK Talent Camp hosted by the Royal National College for the Blind, Hereford – I couldn’t be more proud of their efforts.”
The session was delivered by Stephen Newey, National Schools Officer for Goalball UK. They involved both visually impaired and enabled students and came about after students decided to form a UAK Goalball Team, after an inspiring visit to Hanson Academy where students experienced a Goalball demonstration.
The ‘Thank You’ project, which took part during a special English lessons, focused on people whose contribution to the First World War effort is not usually recognised. Students chose to study female surgeons Louisa Anderson, Flora Murray and Elsie Inglis. Using National Literacy Trust and The Royal British Legion resources they studied the life stories of these women to understand and celebrate their actions and achievements, and ultimate write thank you letters to them.
English teacher, Farhat Alam, who spearheaded the sessions said: “It’s honestly been a brilliant experience! The students really got stuck into the biographies and did some beautiful work. In class we had some really engaging conversations about what it was like for women before the war and what it’s like now because of the work of people like Elsie Inglis and Flora Murray.
I think it was useful for the students to think about Remembrance in a slightly different way because they all know that lots of soldiers fought but it’s harder to make that link back to their own lives and why we are still thinking about them 100 years on. Using the experience of the surgeons, we were able to put that traditional idea of remembrance into a broader context. It helped them see it in a different way, especially the girls.”
Students have been truly inspired by what they learnt about these women one student commenting: “These women are so inspirational, I hadn’t heard of these surgeons- Elsie Inglis was quite amazing, and Flora and Louisa too! In my letter I thanked them for the bravery they showed, about how they joined the suffrage and always fought for what they believed, how they helped willingly and always persevered and finally how they did what was right!”
With a fellow student adding “I have learned a lot about these women. I have never heard of them before so to me they are hidden heroes.”
The students letters now form part of a case study produced by The National literacy Trust, it is also hoped that the letters will go on to be published in a remembrance collection.
If you left Year 11 or Sixth Form in July 2018 your exam certificates are now ready for collection from the main school reception. Please bring some form of ID with you when collecting.
If you are unable to collect in person, you may nominate someone to collect on your behalf. You must write a letter authorising your nominated person and this must be signed and dated. Your nominated person must bring photo ID with your letter, this is to ensure we are giving them to the correct person.
Please keep your certificates in a safe place as exam boards will make a significant charge to replace each one.