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Yate Academy

ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.”

Albert Einstein, 1955

At Yate Academy, we strive for excellence in everything we do.

We recognise that exam results are an important part of being excellent at our subjects and are the stepping stone to the next stage of our lives.

However we know that they are not everything.

Academic excellence is about more than exam specifications and knowledge organisers. It is about more than school. It doesn’t stop when the bell goes.

For us, academic excellence is about answering the questions that you want answered. Then it is about asking new questions and finding new answers. It is about being independent in your learning and in your thinking. It is about deepening and extending your knowledge beyond the limits of the school curriculum. It is also, as Einstein tells us, a never-ending process.

Your teachers have produced the Academic Excellence Programme to help you take a first step towards academic excellence. We have recommended things to read, things to watch and listen to, places to visit, and things to do that we think will interest you and stretch your minds.

There is also a chance to take part in the our very own Extended Project which gives you a great opportunity to put your new found interests into action as well as developing your research and written skills. This will be launched very soon!

Now it is over to you!

Submit your findings here - Or email excellence@yateacademy.co.uk We can't wait to see what you learn!

Watch the Assembly delivered to students here: 

 


What to read:
 

Subject

 

English

Publications such as Good Housekeeping and the Guardian publish useful lists of books to read before you are 18: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/entertainment/g22749180/best-books-for-teens/ and https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2014/mar/06/world-book-day-ten-best-teen-reads.

The Concorde Award is a South Glos book prize. Each year 6 books are nominated by young people and, once you’ve read the books, you can vote for your favourite at your local library. More information can be found here: https://www.southglos.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/libraries/libraries-childrens-services/concorde-book-award-2019/

Maths

Can You Solve My Problems? by Alex Bellos and Hello World by Hannah Fry set maths in a modern context and provide an opportunity to understand how and why maths is important today.

Science

Bill Bryson is a brilliantly funny and accessible science writer. Try A Brief History of Nearly Everything or The Body for entertaining explorations of scientific topics.

Geography

Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall is a great starting point for extending your understanding of the interplay between geography and world politics.

National Geographic magazine is a brilliant source of diverse articles on all aspects of human and physical geography.

History

A Little History of the World by E.H. Gombrich tells the story of human history from the stone age to the atomic bomb.

The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan examines the rise and fall of great empires in central Asia. There is an illustrated version too

The Time Travellers Guide to Elizabethan England by Ian Mortimer is a fascinating trip through England in the 1500s, providing answers to questions you never thought to ask: how often did Elizabethans wash their clothes? What did they eat for breakfast? What happened if they fell ill?

Religious Studies

How was the universe created? Is it ok to eat meat? Is there a God? If you’re interested in trying to answer these questions, check out The Complete Philosophy Files by Stephen Law. In this wonderful book, Law delves into the basic philosophical questions that humans have been wrestling with for centuries.

MFL

Les Aventures de Tintin by Hergé is a popular French comic. It’s accessible and perfect for students who want to broaden their French vocabulary.

Come to the MFL Library in G7 and choose from a variety of dual –language books, including classics such as Alice in Wonderland and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Music

The Story of NOW That's What I Call Music in 100 Artists by Michael Mulligan is a great place to start an exploration of the music that has shaped Britain since the 1980s.

A great way to deepen your knowledge of music is through fiction. On the Come Up by Angie Thomas, for example, charts the rise of an internet hip-hop artist. For more book recommendations, ask your music teacher for a reading list.

Art

There is a huge range of excellent books on art and artists. Check out the list here: https://www.nationalgallery.co.uk/products/art-books

To improve your drawing, have a look at the wide-ranging sketching prompts in 642 Things to Draw or get inspiration from Jane Stobart’s Extraordinary Sketchbooks.

Drama

The Empty Space by Peter Brook and An Actor Prepares by Constantin Stanislavsky will make you think about acting in new ways. Ideal preparation for further study of Drama at GCSE and beyond!

DT

See How It’s Made by Dorling Kindersley is a wonderfully illustrated guide to the design, technology, and manufacture of a wide range of common household items. Perfect for pushing your understanding of design beyond the school curriculum.

Sport

Reading the autobiography of your sporting idol can be a great way of inspiring you to push yourself.

What to watch:  

Subject

 

 

English

On BBC iPlayer you can find the adaptation of His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman or look on Amazon for DVDs such as Carrie’s War, Downton Abbey or The Man Who Invented Christmas (about Dickens writing his classic, A Christmas Carol.)

Maths

The youtube channel Numberfile poses mathematical problems and talks you through possible solutions.

Science

Climate Change: The Facts, a documentary by David Attenborough, explores the science behind climate change.

BBC documentaries such as Meat: A Threat to Our Planet provide a scientific approach to the biggest issues facing society today.

Geography

Documentaries such as An Inconvenient Truth are a good way to explore the challenges facing the environment.

David Attenborough’s Human Planet and documentaries by Stacey Dooley allow you to explore the wider world.

History

History documentaries on Youtube such as Eyes on the Prize (The Civil Rights Movement) and Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners (The Slave Trade) are a great way to delve deeper into a topic.

Historical films such as 1917, Peterloo, Mary Queen of Scots, and Glory are good places to start with a new topic.

Religious Studies

If you want to find out more about the origins of the world’s great religions, try the first few episodes of Andrew Marr’s documentary History of the World which explores 70,000 of human history.

 

If you enjoy watching films, try some that focus on big philosophical questions such as The Truman Show and The Life of Pi.

MFL

Extra is a TV sitcom written especially for French and Spanish learners. It’s all available on Youtube.

Superholly is a YouTuber who uploads clips in both English and Spanish. Her videos are really good for improving listening skills.

The MFL library in G7 has a wide range of films in French and Spanish, including Ice Age and Les Choristes.

Music

The Royal Opera House screens its latest operas in local cinemas, such as Cribbs Causeway Vue, allowing you to see professional artists perform on the biggest stage.

Art

There are lots of great TV shows out there that showcase different art and craft styles. On the BBC, for example, loom out for the Big Painting Challenge and the Great British Sewing Bee. The Wonderful World of Crafting on Channel 5 is great for introducing different craft ideas and methods.

Drama

Go and watch a professional show at the Bristol Hippodrome, the Royal Theatre Bath, or the Old Vic in the centre of Bristol.

 

National Theatre Live bring recordings of the best theatre productions to cinemas. You can check out what is on currently at Cribbs Causeway Vue and Longwell Green Vue.

DT

There are hundreds of episodes of the documentary series How It’s Made available on youtube, looking at everything from Shredded Wheat to tasers.

TV shows such as Great British Bake Off and Junior Masterchef are good places to start if you want new ideas for cooking and baking.

Sport

Michael Johnson’s Usian Bolt: the Fastest Man Who Has Ever Lived

Last Chance U on Netflix

What to listen to:
 

 

Subject

 

English

Audible.co.uk has a range of audiobooks; you could listen to books by similar writers or in similar genres to the others you have enjoyed.

 

You can also download episodes of Desert Island Discs, which is a Radio 4 programme where a wide range of celebrities talk about their favourite books, music and their inspiration. A good place to start would be with Judith Kerr, the author of The Tiger who Came to Tea: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p07kjbsv.

 

Maths

Humans have been applying maths to day-to-day problems for centuries. Marcus de Sautoy’s radio documentary The History of Maths charts the development of mathematical ideas from the earliest humans and is available on the BBC website.

 

Science

BBC Sounds offers lots of scientific shows, including The Infinite Monkey Cage (comedy and science) and The Curious Case of Rutherford and Fry (using science to investigate mysteries!)

Geography

There are many excellent Geographic-related podcasts, such as Kid-Friendly Geography Fun Podcast and 80 Days: An Exploration Podcast

History

The BBC’s In Our Time radio series, presented by Melvyn Bragg, has an excellent History section with episodes on topics ranging from the Haitian Revolution to the history of coffee.

Religious Studies

Oxford University offers a set of free podcasts called Philosophy for Beginners, designed to introduce you to the basics of philosophical debate.

MFL

Listen to Spanish language artists such as the celebrated pop singer Alvaro Solaar.

Look up Sara’h on Youtube. She sings popular English songs with French lyrics: perfect for improving pronunciation and vocabulary.

Music

Listening to the radio is a good way to improve your aural skills. BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM play mainly classical music, whilst BBC Radio 6 plays a range of genres.

 

Art

The Tate Gallery produces great podcasts on everything from Van Gogh to the Art of Hip Hop. The podcasts can be found here: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/podcasts

 

Drama

The National Theatre podcast takes you behind the scenes to investigate the artists and the ideas behind some of the most interesting recent productions.

DT

Podcasts are a good way to hunt for new recipes and things to cook at home. Try Cool Kids Cook to discover cuisine from around the world, recipe ideas, and interviews with top chefs.

Sport

BBC Radio 5 Live is great for discussion and live sport. There are also lots of sporting podcasts which give real insight into sport behind the scenes.

Where to visit:
 

Subject

 

English

Visiting museums and exhibits is an excellent way of understanding the contexts of our texts. If you want to stay local, plan a trip to the Bristol museum or the Jane Austen museum in Bath. London has a wealth of opportunities, including Harry Potter World and The British Museum.

Maths

At Bletchley Park in Bedfordshire, maths helped win World War II. Today you can visit and explore the use of maths in codebreaking and the development of computers.

Visit the Bank of England in London to find out more about how maths is applied to economic problems by mathematicians and economists.

Science

We The Curious in Bristol is a great place to start exploring scientific ideas outside the classroom. It’s all about asking questions, being creative, and testing things out.

 

For an insight into conservation and the natural world, visit Bristol Zoo and Wild Place Project.

Geography

Visit a local landform such as Cheddar Gorge in Somerset. Can you see how physical processes such as erosion and weathering have shaped the landscape?

 

The Eden Project in Cornwall is situated inside two giant biomes housing a huge variety of ecosystems, including a tropical rainforest. Perfect for exploring biodiversity, interdependence, and plant and animal adaptations.

 

History

Yate Heritage Centre has lots of excellent material related to the local area and often runs special exhibitions. You can find out more at www.yateheritage.co.uk

There are also several fantastic historical attractions in Bristol. The M Shed, the SS Great Britain, and the Bristol Museum are all worth a visit.

Religious Studies

Visit some religious sites. Can you see the ideas you have studied at school reflected in the architecture and design? There are beautiful cathedrals in Bristol and Gloucester that you can visit all year round. Mosques across the country also hold open days for non-Muslims. Look at visitmymosque.org for more details.

 

MFL

Take part in one of the school trips to Paris or Barcelona. Speak to your MFL teacher for more details.

Music

There is nothing better than going to watch live performances, from classical to musical theatre and pop concerts. Check out the listings at the Theatre Royal in Bath or St George’s Bristol.

Art

There is no better way that developing your artistic skills and knowledge that visiting an art gallery. There is a great list here: https://www.britainsfinest.co.uk/museums/search/class/art-galleries

Locally, you can check out the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery and the Royal West of England Gallery in Bristol.

Drama

Take the Warner Bros Studio Tour in London to discover how the Harry Potter blockbusters were created and enhance your understanding of production and set design.

Also in London, take the bakestage tour at the National Theatre. You can observe carpenters making the sets for upcoming shows, hold original props, and even visit the wig department!

DT

Bristol and the surrounding area is home to some of the biggest engineering and manufacturing firms in the UK. At Aerospace Bristol, for example, you can visit an interactive museum of aviation history and step aboard the last Concorde supersonic jet.

Sport

Attend a live sporting event

Visit a sports stadium

What to do:
 

Subject

 

English

Go and enjoy some live theatre at the British Old Vic, the Bristol Hippodrome, or the Tobacco Factory. Look out for Shakespeare productions or adaptations of literary texts.

Maths

Enter the Maths Challenge to test your skills against young mathematicians across the country. Ask your maths teacher for more details.

 

Attend a Maths in Action lecture to hear from some of the world’s greatest living mathematicians.

Science

Visit sciencefun.org for science investigations and projects that can be completed at home.

 

If you want to play a role in large scale scientific research, take a look at the BBC Citizen Science projects and find out how to get involved.

Geography

Join environmental club to get a better understanding of how we can mitigate the effects of climate change and protect out planet. Speak to your geography teacher for more details.

 

 

History

Complete a “Meanwhile Elsewhere” research project. Ask your History teacher for more details.

Join the Bristol and Bath Young Archaeologists Club and take part in a dig.

Religious Studies

If you haven’t done so before, attend a service at a local church or other place of worship. If you are unsure about codes of conduct or clothing, call or email beforehand.

 

Attend the Grand Iftar on St Mark’s Road in Bristol. Each year during the festival of Ramadan, the local Muslim community break fast with the wider community and all are welcome.

MFL

Download and set up an account on Duolingo, an app for learning any language and building up your fluency – you can even compete against your friends.

Find a recipe online for a classic French of Spanish meal and cook for your friends and family. ¡Qué rica! Bon appetit!

Music

Audition to join a choir or musical theatre group. Both the National Theatre Choir and the National Musical Youth Theatre hold auditions in October each year.

Art

Take inspiration from the work of Lee John Phillips and draw items from your home. http://leejohnphillips.com/    

Take inspiration from the work of Katie Jane Vickers, spend the afternoon outside and paint your local landscape using natural materials such as mud, sand and coal. https://katiejanevickers.wordpress.com/

Drama

Join a drama / performing arts club in your local area to gain theatrical experience and make new friends.

Audition for the school production. See your drama teacher for more details.

DT

Help out with DIY projects at home: put the principles you have learnt about at school into practice and develop fundamental life skills.

Sport

Join / watch a school sports team/ try a new sport / visit a ski slope/ start a club at school and share your passion with other people!