Christmas newsletter

We have had a very hectic and productive term with students making some excellent progress. There has been many developments in the centre since September and we are continuing to make some rapid improvements to our student offer. We have also just launched our new website.

Hope to see you soon.
Tom Pegler
Headteacher (Island Learning Centre)


Open Day

This term we held a Christmas open day on Dec 10th. This provided an opportunity for students to show people around our new centre and look at some of the activities students have been doing this term.

Students baked an array of cakes which they then sold in the canteen area with money raised being donated to the toy appeal.

Several workshops took place including Christmas wreath making and a ping pong championship. We were very proud of the way in which the students conducted themselves during the event and we look forward to hosting more events in the new year.


The highlight of the term for some of our Y11s was sitting their GCSE early in November. Millie, Josh, Jamie, George and Phoebe showed real commitment and maturity in how they approached the exam. I would like to congratulate them all in the way they applied themselves during the two exams. The results will not arrive until the end of January when I am optimistic that we will have cause for more celebration!

Y10 students have begun preparation for their GCSEs. They have been looking at writing for different purposes and have been studying a range of texts. Many of the students have benefitted from the English intervention programme that has been put in place. Lois has been spearheading this on the Clatterford side and has worked extremely hard with students to improve their progress in reading and spelling. Results are already showing an acceleration in student progress.

Year 11 students on a reward trip after completing their exams .

This term has seen KS3 focussing on Private Peaceful, a book written by Michael Morpurgo that looks at the lives of two young boys growing up in a small village in Devon during the run up to World War 1 and then their eventual inauguration into the Army .The students have been learning how to pick out key elements of scenes and some have produced fabulous work that explores the sights and sounds of war, or, the thoughts, feelings and emotions of an outsider looking in at the events portrayed in the book.

Studying this book was especially poignant as the 100th Anniversary of the 1st World War was this year and Remembrance Sunday was in this term.


KS3 have been concentrating on chemistry and physics this term learning about acids, alkalis and the basics of the periodic table. They have also grown crystals. In physics they learnt about how a microscope works and looked at refraction and reflection.

KS4 students have been preparing for their GCSE examinations with individual programmes to cover the areas needed. This has included diet, health and the body, chemical reactions and elements of natural science including fractional distillation of crude oil.


Key Stage 4 students have worked mainly on a large topic of Fractions, while Key Stage 3 students have focussed on calculation processes.

Students have also had a practice GCSE exam to help identify their strengths and areas to work on before the real thing in June !

Congratulations to George, Seb and Connor who have all shown their aptitude for Maths.

Art Gallery

Autumn term has focused on drawing and painting skills delivered through a street art theme.

The first project was to explore graffiti writing looking at different text and font styles. Here students learnt to scale up art work to A2 using the grid method. We explored line, tone, shadow and highlights through combining different drawing and painting media.

Next we looked at different character styles. Students were asked to complete tonal drawings of characters using graded pencils and graphite sticks.

Well done Daisy for producing this drawing.

Finally students produced their own spray paintings. Students designed and cut stencils before spraying up their own designs. Through these projects we have explored the cultural role of Graffiti and looked at the impact of street art within different communities. Spray painting by Katie.

KS4 have been developing coursework for their qualifications. This term they were asked to produce drawings and paintings based on an artist or style. Students have been developing ideas for creating murals using techniques from their chosen artists.
Work by George and Phoebe.

Centre Art Work

As an introductory project new students to the centre have been asked to create a ‘leaf’ for the centre’s logo. Students were given a leaf to represent themselves. We now have a colourful and diverse piece of art work in our reception area.

Next term students will be participating in a number of projects with visiting artists that will improve the school environment – watch this space!

Outdoor Adventurous Activities

This term has been extremely varied as to what students have been doing in our PE/OAA sessions.

The first half of the term participants were given the opportunity to embark on either: a Cardio-Vascular course of Exercise on our CV Machines, Muscle Building with our Multi-gym, Cycling to Achieve a Gears Cycling Award, Walking in our amazing surroundings or an Introduction to ‘alternative exercise’ such as Pilates and Yoga.

By far the most popular session was cycling (when it was dry) and most achieved at least a Level 1 Gears Award, Some even got to the dizzy heights of the hills above Alum Bay. The Cardio Vascular Routines were also very popular with almost all students taking part (especially when it was wet) and a cross centre leader board was created to show how good each student was doing and some staff even joined in the challenges.

The Second half of the term was focussed on Table Tennis and Pilates and every student took part in both elements, although out of the two, Table Tennis was the most popular and in our Christmas Open Day, an All Comers Play Off was developed and the students totally trounced all of the visitors… our two staff supremo’s Izzy and Lois are still yet to be beaten though!

Personal Social Education

Key stage 3 students have looked at personal safety this term, keeping ourselves safe in different situations. We have looked at road safety which coincided with national road safety week in November. We then looked at Bullying and different areas around bullying including cyberbullying where students considered how we all play our part even if we are a bystander.

Keystage 4 students have learnt about the risks attached to making different choices about personal safety and have identified how they can minimise the risks for themselves and others. Students have also looked at peer pressure and the consequences of poor choices for themselves and others.

Hair & Beauty

Students have been completing their mandatory units for Foundation learning level 1. Unit 8 introduction to the Hair & Beauty sector and Unit 9 Presenting a professional image. We have concentrated our learning on communication and the image of salons and those who work in this industry. We have looked at job roles, working patterns in the hair & beauty industry and progression in different careers.


Our new reward system has been going well this term with students earning themselves a variety of rewards from daily, weekly and half termly prizes.

Students are rewarded for good behaviour, work and attendance -all of which are recorded on their personal trackers. Keep up the good work everyone and remember to carry your trackers with you to lessons!

Congratulations to George for achieving the most points this term!


In Nurture this term we have been exploring the natural world. We have set up a classroom at Sandy Lane and been cooking our own breakfasts. Students have taken part in activities at IOWAA including mountain boarding and bush craft. In the classroom we have been looking at strategies to manage our own emotions and anxieties and developing skills to work collaboratively with peers. We have considered the impact our body language has on others and have begun to recognise that we don’t have to get things right every time as long as we do our best and acknowledge our responsibilities. Students have had lots of opportunities to practise their social skills and recognising the need to adhere to social conventions. Students have also enjoyed Forest Schools sessions, carving wood to make tools and building camp fires. We have been offering support to families also to help our students move on with their lives.

Technology and Digital literacy

This term in Technology and Digital literacy we have been designing, making and flying our own kites and model cars. This has been a project enjoyed by children of all ages.

Students have learnt to draw on a range of sources to produce their designs, produce annotated design drawings, work with a range of tools and materials and critically evaluate their work in order to make improvements.

Special mentions must go to Owen and his Arsenal kite and Ajay’s Minion.
In digital literacy we have worked on a range of skills including computing through Game Making which is a large part of the new National Curriculum.

Update ‘Switch-up’

Earlier this year students worked with Visiting Artists Hannah George and Ian Whitmore to up-cycle old furniture. The project was part of a larger regional Arts Council relay exhibition. It was first exhibited in Southampton at the Aspex gallery before being shown at Quay Arts between 3rd Nov– 3rd Dec. The exhibition had some positive press coverage and generated some good comments. Well done to all who took part. As a result of this we will be using some of the techniques learnt in projects next term.

Branstone Farm

Students at the ILC have the opportunity to take up a place at Branstone Farm. The farm offers them an insight into work on a commercial farm and gaining accreditation at BTEC Level in Land Based Studies, Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care.

Previous students have gained useful experience at Branstone to secure themselves a place at Sparsholt Agricultural College. As part of their course, students undertake daily chores at the farm. These include feeding and cleaning out pigs, goats, chickens, guinea pigs and rabbits. They also collect eggs, help with administering medicines and carryout health checks on the animals. The farm has a large polytunnel and seed beds enabling the students to tend plants and grow vegetables in the gardens. Branstone is predominantly a commercial pig farm but students visit other island farms to gain experience working with dairy cows and sheep. Recently the students have been to a large 150 herd dairy farm with a computerised milking parlour where they have assisted with milking the cows.

Many students are gaining accreditation in tractor driving. Several students can now competently use both the mini tractor for horticultural tasks and the large John Deere for daily routines on the farm.

Autumn 1 – In the Kitchen

For the first half of this term we started looking at different types of pastry . We started with ‘Shortcrust Pasty’ using the ’rubbing-in method’ and cooked Chicken and Leek Pies. We had some wonderful examples of this and the fillings were very tasty.

We then made ‘Rough Puff Pastry’ folding the fat into the pastry to form layers of air. This was then used to make Sausage rolls. Students were able to use a selection of flavourings to add to the sausage meat ranging from tomato puree to curry spices!

The most popular activity was ‘Homemade Egg Pasta’. Students made their own pasta dough. They then used a ‘Pasta Machine’ to roll out the dough and cut it into strips of ‘Tagliatelle’. We then made a wonderful ‘Carbonara Sauce’ to coat the pasta ….. Yummy!

And, finally using ‘Choux Pastry’ we make some impressive chocolate Éclairs filled with whipped cream and topped with chocolate.

Autumn 2 – Foreign Cookery

The second half of the term we have been looking at Foreign Cookery from various cultures including India, China and Italy. Students used ‘Filo Pastry’ to make ‘Vegetarian Samosa’ followed by a tasty ‘Chicken Curry’ made with coconut milk and served with Basmati Rice.

We travelled to Italy next—Using homemade bread dough, students designed their own topping’s and baked pizza. For our second dish from Italy, we baked a Lasagne. This week we have been to China and ‘Sweet and Sour Chicken’

With Christmas so close, we are baking a Chocolate Swiss Roll with a ‘Whisked Fatless Sponge’ and decorating with a Christmas theme.

Year 11 students started their practical assessments – many have chosen to compare popular convenience foods with their own home cooked alternatives.