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    The Torch

    The Torch, July/August 2020
    View complete issue (PDF)

    July/August 2020

    These pages contain highlights from the latest issue of The Torch, the student newspaper of Wath Academy.

    The full newspaper is available to view by selecting the cover.

    Previous editions (going all the way back to 1930) are available on the back issues page.


    By Emily Rodgers, Year 8

    Manvers Lake

    With this warm weather, and lockdown starting to ease, many people flock to our local lake, but those that jump in to cool off are partaking in a very dangerous activity. Here is a lowdown of some dangers associated with Manvers Lake.

    Even if the weather may be warm, the lake isn’t always. The sun may have warmed up the surface of the water, but the deeper you go, the colder it gets, meaning you could still go into shock, which can render you unconscious, especially if you jump into deep water. This could lead to hypothermia and possibly drowning.

    The islands may look close to the edge of the lake, but they are actually quite far away, depending on where you swim to and from, it can be anywhere from 50 to over 300 meters away from shore, and just because you can swim there, doesn’t mean that you can swim back.

    Many people walk in the edge of the water, believing it to be risk free, as it isn’t deep, but under the surface, there are freshwater mussels. These are small and razor sharp, and if you are unlucky enough to step on one, the injury can be severe enough to need a hospital visit. They grow on rocks and many other places in the lake, so if you are walking in the shallows of the water, always wear shoes!

    You might be able to see the bottom of the lake in some spots, but the centre of the lake is over eight metres deep, and it can drop very suddenly, leaving you out of your depth and possibly stranded.

    One of the most recent additions to the lake has been a pontoon, which is used for safety purposes and launching large boats. However, it isn’t being used currently and a gate has been fitted over the entrance to try to stop people from using it. However, this has resulted in people jumping in further around the edge of the lake, then swimming up to it. Some have been attempting to swim underneath the pontoon, which is highly dangerous.

    So, remember, if you are planning a trip to Manvers Lake to make the most of the summer sunshine, ensure you are responsible and treat the lake with respect. Don’t do something silly that you might regret later, and remember, even if you do something without consequences, your behaviour might encourage someone else who might not be as lucky.

    Have a wonderful summer!

    Meet the Head Boy and Head Girl

    Alex McEwan (Head Boy)

    The Head BoyI made the decision to come to Wath Sixth Form as I wanted to build on the positive changes that I had made in recent years and to make further progress in my education. In my younger school years, it would be fair to say that I had a less than exemplary record. However, as my GCSEs approached, I realised that anything other than 100% commitment would not enable me to reach my full potential.

    Wath Academy Sixth Form is a place where I feel confident and able to achieve anything. I am determined to get the grades I need to go to university and lead a happy, healthy and successful life. I chose to study the Diploma in BTEC Sport, Product Design and the Extended Project Qualification. I enjoy ‘doing’ and the practical nature of my subjects suits the way I learn best.

    Becoming Head Boy quickly became an aspiration of mine as I wanted younger students to see that with the right growth mindset and setting yourself the highest expectations, anything is possible. It is humbling that my teachers and other students voted for me to become Head Boy. I certainly do not take their support for granted and throughout the year I aim to repay their faith and make a positive contribution to school life. I look forward to the year ahead and am proud that I will be part of the rich history of Wath Academy Sixth Form.

    Millie Birch (Head Girl)

    The Head GirlI have been a student at Wath since Year 7 and have continued into the Sixth Form to study A-level Biology, Psychology and BTEC Dance Extended Diploma. I am delighted to have been appointed as Head Girl as I want to contribute to the wider school community and work with Senior Leaders within the school in order to represent the opinions and views of students at Wath. Also, I wanted this responsibility because I believe I have the qualities needed in order to succeed in this role. I want to encourage students to embrace our key drivers including “Never give up” and inspire younger students to be resilient, hard working and determined and who always try to be the best version of themselves.

    In 2018, I had life-changing surgery in Philadelphia, United States to prevent a serious spinal condition progressing to the point where it might jeopardise my dancing aspirations. Unfortunately, this resulted in me missing two months of school at the end of Year 10. However, with my determination, positive mindset, and commitment to my studies, I achieved 8s and 9s in my GCSEs. This meant that I had exceeded my GCSE target grades by 2-3 grades, which is something that I am very proud of.

    I am so grateful to have been voted Head Girl and I am very excited to be involved in making positive changes at Wath Academy.

    Library Updates

    In May, the school library acquired an amazing selection of eBooks and audiobooks through Wheelers Eplatform. All students can access these, either via an app, or by visiting the school library web page on the Learning Platform; there are instructions on Satchel One, under “Tutor Activities”.

    Over 200 students have already borrowed or reserved items, with the most popular being A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, and Wonder by R.J Palacio. There are around 1,000 to choose from, so there’s sure to be something for everyone to enjoy.

    The approach of the summer holidays sees the return of the library’s reading challenge, “Book Bingo”. Why not give it a go and see how many challenges you can complete? Just print off the “Book Bingo” below and then cross off each one as you finish it. Return it to the library after the summer holidays, to show off your achievements.

    Let’s see how many of you can get a full house!