In July 2017, a group of Year 10 Geography GCSE students had the opportunity to visit Swanage to study its coastal management, which directly links to their GCSE final exam. In groups, they investigated the consequences of human interaction along the coast. In addition to the physical geography they also looked at different coastal managements, both effective and disastrous and examined issues that affect the coast today, throwing up important questions for the future. To achieve this, the students examined evidence of a changing coastline and completed the relevant booklet. They also looked at different sea defences and the effectiveness of sea walls and beach replenishment. It was a particularly successful trip, as the girls did a lot of practical work but also had the opportunity to enjoy the sun by the coast and talk to local people about the past, present and future of Swanage Bay.
On Tuesday 19th September, 20 girls from First Story, as well as Ms. Boumeester and Ms. Mahon travelled to Oxford University to attend the Young Writers Festival and the annual launch of the First Story programme.
We were welcomed by two ports and former First Story writers. They shared their experiences and what writing means to them. We did a thorough analysis of our names, which showed us how special and individual our names actually are.
In our first workshop, we used our senses and personal experiences to make up words that didn’t yet exist in the English language. In the second workshop, we played a game of ‘word association’ and made poems about the people that are close to us.
Apart from the wonderful workshops, we had the opportunity to watch a performance from two experience poets: John Agard and Grace Nichols. They performed their own poems (some are also in our GCSE anthology!) and also talked about the importance of writing and expressing your feelings.
A big thanks to Ms. Boumeester and Ms. Mahon for taking us on this trip and to First Story for an amazing event. It was an inspiring trip.
Mariam Keyvani and Hafsa Al-Hashimi
The school musical ended its two night run to riotous applause and a standing ovation. Both nights were sold out and rightly so.
It opened with a kaleidoscope of colour and pattern: sparkle and glitter lit up the stage and welcomed the audience to Agraba. We are transported to a place in deepest, darkest Morocco, a place where a street rat called Aladdin was born.
Throughout, the cast were incredible: so many stand out performances from students in Yrs7-10. The comic timing and swagger of the genie and Aladdin played by siblings Jessica and Crystabelle Blankson- Hermanes, the shy but humble princess… the clumsy, dopey guards with their impeccable comic timing and self-depreciating sense of humour, the sarcastic, deadpan delivery of lines by Jafar and the loveable, crowd pleaser Iago. This carnival of colour all set to a backdrop of the city, hand painted by Honey. The spirit, energy and passion was infectious
The finale Of ‘A Whole New World’ stands as a reminder of the beauty of theatre at Fulham Cross – they have the ability to pull off a Disney classic whilst also making it their own (credit to the script writer here! Ms Dale!!) What other Aladdin – other than one from Fulham would steal sourdough bread from the market and do the ‘Big Fish, Little Fish’ dance to win Princess Jasmine’s hand.
The finale doesn’t disappoint! Love transcends all when Aladdin rejects cash and camels to marry his princess. I know I speak for every member of the audience when I say that we all headed home for the weekend with a warm, tingly feeling inside.
Last July, the year 10 Spanish and Geography students travelled to Avila, in Spain, to explore the language, culture and geographical attributes. Our trip was full of exciting, fun and new experiences; the first being our visit to the medieval old town of Avila; a town of religious history due to Spain’s deep connection to Catholicism. We were able to explore the town and use our Spanish skills, whilst enjoying the admirable view of the walls of Avila. Our accommodation was situated in Gredos and it came with breath-taking views of the mountains. We participated in many exciting activities; our most memorable one was mountain hiking, which required a lot of dedication and resilience. However, to truly explore the Spanish culture, we participated in a cooking class, where we made our very own tortilla, which is a popular omelette. We also had the opportunity to try a different Spanish dish every day made by the cooks of the Gredos centre. On a geographical note, we examined and measured the rivers that had been formed in the fields; this enabled us to learn and see how the rivers are formed in both a practical and educational way. In order to put our Spanish skills into use, we went out to the village of Avila for a fun treasure hunt, where we had to find clues by asking the locals for directions. This was a great way to practise our speaking skills and gain confidence. In addition, we had the opportunity to do archery and participate in a t-shirt making class, as well as going to an activities’ park where we climbed trees and overcame many difficult obstacles. This was a great way to end our 5-day trip to Spain! This trip incorporated both education and fun, making it such a memorable and enjoyable experience.
Hiba Al-Moosawi 11U
Fulham Cross Girls’ School students have, once again, excelled in their GCSE results, with an astounding 32% of all grades awarded at A*/A, the highest percentage of top grades ever achieved at the school. In the midst of country-wide uncertainty around the new, more challenging, examinations in English and maths, students have surpassed expectations with 80% achieving a strong pass in English and 90% achieving the standard pass. Maths outcomes are also strong, with 75% of students achieving the standard pass in the more demanding examination, bringing the overall measure of girls receiving a pass in both English and maths to 74%. Outstanding performances in science continued with 100% of students achieving A*-C in chemistry, 96% in biology and 93% in physics, with an astonishing 55% of grades within these subjects awarded at A*/A .
Student progress has, once again, been phenomenal across the board as a result of an unstinting belief that all students, regardless of their starting position in Year 7, can achieve outstanding results. Head of School, Denise Fox, commented “Once again, the staff and students of Fulham Cross Girls’ School have worked exceptionally hard to achieve the results that will take our girls on to some of the best academic sixth form providers in the country. We are a fully inclusive school and are exceptionally proud of the progress that all our students make, working within our vision of Empowering Tomorrow’s Women.”
Outstanding individual performances include a clean sweep of top grades for Xii Cin Lim who has achieved 7 A* grades and 3 grade 9s – results that put her in the enviable position of choosing from a range of offers from independent schools across West London. This outstanding set of results is the highest ever achieved by a Fulham Cross Girls’ School student and was closely followed by students including Lyeba Ahmed (6 A*s, 1 A and 3 grade 8s), Ithar Hajar Derdour (6 A*s, 2 As, 2 grade 8s and 1 grade 7) and Shan Hama, who achieved 3 grade 9s in English and maths, 3 A*s, 4 As and 1 B.
Executive Principal, Peter Haylock, commented “There is no secret to the success achieved year on year at Fulham Cross Girls’ School. It is down to a strong vision and ethos that challenges all students to aspire to achieve beyond expectations. The school has twice been shortlisted for TES Secondary School of the Year and is in the top 1% of schools nationally for progress. In addition to this, the students at Fulham Cross know that their teachers go above and beyond expectations to ensure that they are best placed to excel. We are thrilled with this set of results and congratulate all our students on their achievements.”
On Thursday 29th June, we had our first EMPOWER Awards evening, to recognise and celebrate the outstanding commitment of Fulham Cross Girls’ School students to our EMPOWER charter.
The students receiving the awards had been nominated by their teachers for their commitment to one of the strands of EMPOWER, with eight winners for each year group plus an additional outstanding commitment award for the student in each year group who was nominated for the most categories.
Our formal ceremony started with a welcome from Mr Haylock, Executive Principal of Fulham College Academy Trust, who spoke about the challenge that we lay down to our students to be the leaders of the future. This was followed by a warm and inspirational address from our guest speaker, BBC Broadcaster Mishal Husain, who spoke with passion about the challenges that she faces as a high profile, successful female professional and, more importantly, her determination to succeed and fulfil her aspirations. Mishal spoke directly to our girls to advise them to believe in themselves, work hard, listen, persevere and follow their dreams and the audience was captivated by her passion as she paid tribute to our EMPOWER values.
The first award of the evening was presented by Mishal to Hiba Al-Moosawi in recognition of her commitment to representing young people through her role as Youth Mayor for Hammersmith and Fulham. The evening then carried on with each girl receiving a glass trophy, a certificate and a book to mark her achievement as one of our EMPOWER winners. Ms Fox, Head of School, was extremely proud of all the students as she presented their awards and had photographs with every winner.
The audience were treated to some great musical performances, which included a number from our upcoming school performance of Aladdin, a moving duet of the song True Colours and a lively and engaging performance from the Fulham Cross Street Dance Troupe. The event was brought to a formal close by Ms Fox who, as always, spoke with pride about the “amazing young women that we are privileged to teach at Fulham Cross Girls’ School.”
At the end of the evening, proud parents rushed forward to have their photographs taken with their daughters and all remarked on how much the evening meant to their families. Our EMPOWER winners for 2017 will be displayed throughout the school so that all our students can aspire to emulate their achievements and be the 2018 winners.
On the 16th June 2017 our year 11 girls had their prom at a beautiful venue in Hammersmith overlooking the River Thames; to say the view from the terrace was serene would have been an understatement. The girls looked absolutely amazing dressed in long glittery gowns and with hairstyles that would have given Lady Gaga a run for her money! Throughout the evening, the girls danced away to the sounds of Sean Paul and Justin Bieber, to name a few, testing both their dancing skills and vocal chords. They celebrated Best Dressed which was won by Ishwaq Ahmed and their 2017 Prom Queen went to Hamda Mire! It was a night filled with laughter, excitement and gratitude as the girls celebrated all together for the last time before beginning the next phase of their lives. Goodbye Class of 2017 and we wish you the best of luck!
On Monday 19th June a group of Year 7 students had the opportunity to participate in an inclusion day at Lord's Cricket Ground. The girls, all members of our increasingly popular cricket club, had a personalised tour of the grounds and the museum, before taking part in a range of workshop sessions to practice and develop skills with Middlesex cricket coaches. After this, they had the chance to watch the first day of the Middlesex vs Yorkshire test match - a fantastic experience for girls who are developing a passion for the sport. The sun shone all day - great weather for cricket - and the girls thoroughly enjoyed the match, enthusiastically cheering the 'fours' and the 'outs'. At Fulham Cross, we are keen to ensure that our girls have access to a range of sports and activities - watch this space for future news about our cricket club!
Year 10 students had a tremendous Empower Day as they visited five universities across London. Events included a tour of the university, an opportunity to quiz the student ambassadors as well as participation in team building exercises. The students reported back that they had really enjoyed the experience and that it was an excellent opportunity to see what university life was like first hand and to talk to the students about what it was like to be a university student in London. Maria in 10F said ‘I always knew I wanted to go to university but now I want to go even more!’ At the same time 10M’s visit to City University was made a lot smoother by the excellent navigational skills of Megan Jones who worked with staff to ensure that they found their way to the university having been there before!
The response of the universities has been overwhelming in their praise for the maturity, behaviour and intelligence of the girls who attended the trip and the school is already making preparations to repeat the visits next year.
The hall was transformed into a celestial scene awash with twinkling stars to launch the First Story Writing Workshop’s poetry anthology Our Words Run Deeper Than The Earth on June 15th.
The 23-strong group of Year 9 poets reduced many of the parents and teaching staff to tears by reading their raw, powerful and honest words on a range of topics from family life, grief, sexism as well as what it is like to be a Muslim girl today.
Poet-in-residence Rebecca Tantony told how the girls had “blossomed” during her weekly workshops producing intricate and heartfelt writing which made her feel “honoured” to have worked with them.
She added: “The writing is funny, it is brave and it truly has a wisdom beyond the years of the faces behind it.”
Lead teacher Ms Stone-Lee described how the girls had gained such confidence and skill they could “now fill the world – in fact the galaxy - with their amazing words”.
The girls were thrilled to take home copies of their first books to treasure forever and felt incredibly proud of overcoming their nerves to perform in front of the audience.
The Careers Department offers EMPOWER Breakfast Talks on Tuesdays throughout the year. Initially they were offered to Year 10 and 11 girls but now are open to all students in any year. The latest two talks have been fascinating very well attended.
On 13 June Dr Paul Winter came to talk to us about his careers as a neuroscientist. Dr Winter told us about his education in South Africa during apartheid and how his family was deported. He talked about his career developing new medicines in a range of therapeutic areas. He also talked about the teenage brain. There was standing room only.
‘On the 31st March the Year 11’s took a trip along the Thames to the far eastern reaches of our great city to the economic heartland of Canary Wharf. The girls took the Clipper ferry from Putney Bridge all the way to our destination and were able to see the huge changes occurring along the banks of the Thames. The trip was an excellent chance for the girls to see a hugely developed area that has changed drastically over the last century from a thriving Docklands to a deindustrialised wasteland and now into a globalised economic neighbourhood. Upon arrival we visited the London Docklands Museum and managed to collect excellent information to help the girls with their GCSE topic ‘Changing UK Economies.’ This was a great opportunity for the girls to get out into the field before the onset of exams and we were very proud of the way they behaved and conducted themselves. Well done girls!’
On Friday 26th May the Year 7 & 8 Cricket Team attended the annual West London Cricket Tournament at William Perkin School. The team were excited from the off, with many of the girls arriving 15 minutes early and practising bowling.
It was clear from the start that many players from the other teams were much more experienced than our brand new team, but we in true Fulham Cross Fashion took this in our Stride.
Our first game against Belvue School went incredibly well with a win of 273 to 206, calming the nerves slightly. The next game was against Cardinal Wiseman, a very close game throughout taking it right down to the final over. At the final ball it was unclear who had won, the umpire went to a count back both teams were 236 for 4 wickets, a draw….but this soon changed with a bowl out with 45 players from each team selected to free bowl at the wickets, each needing to hit to score a point for their team.
A special mention must also go to Asal Ali, who was spotted by a scout from the county Team of Middlesex, and asked her to attend some training sessions for the county team, thinking she would be an asset.
On Tuesday 6th June 10 pupils from a combination of Year 7, 8 and 9 attended a Girls’ Sport day At Stamford Bridge- the Home of the Premier League Champions. It was an inspiring day full of a variety of workshops. The girls spent time thinking about how fortunate they were to be taking part in sport and how still unfortunately the stereotypes exist in women’s sports and in particular football. They worked on scenarios of how to combat these and practical things they themselves could do in certain situations.
The most inspiring activity involved a question and answers session by Katie Chapman (Women’s Chelsea Captain), providing the girls with an insight to the dedication and commitment needed to overcome challenges and really make it to be one of the best.
There was also a chance to visit the pitch, which the girls enjoyed as well as a practical session involving key skill development.
All in all a great day empowering our girls’ to be involved and always be involved in sport.
On our Empower day, ‘Let me play’ came in and ran fun sports activities throughout the day. The 5 activities that took place were: Football, Dance, Tennis, Handball, and Basketball. We started off with Dance and we learnt a dance routine from the musical Hairspray, it was a very cheesy routine, but we still had lots of fun. After that, we did football where we learnt different skills and played short matches, and the mentor Toby helped us and gave us tips on how to improve our skills. After a short break, we moved onto handball, where we started off with mini games to help prepare us for the exercises that were coming up. The mentor cheered us on as we played a very exciting match of handball. Next up was basketball, where we practised shooting and dribbling. We then played a game called the hot seat which got us all excited and very determined to score. Last but not least, we went out into the main playground and to learn tennis skills. The tennis mentor gave us advice on how to serve and when we improved, we went onto perform rallies and did much better than the first time. After all the activities, we headed up to the hall and had an awards assembly where all the mentors gave out certificates and form tutors gave out empower postcards. Over all, it was a fun day and we would gladly do it again.
Inas Nejjari 7F and Meriem Boucha 7F
On Friday 12th May, Year 8 went took a trip to London Zoo to explore the animals living in different climates around the world. After a long ride on the underground, students arrived at London Zoo and headed off to different locations. Particular highlights were the penguins which we could see swimming through the glass fronted pool, Sumatran tigers who are an endangered species and the giraffes who were hiding inside from the rain. Many students also enjoyed the weird and wonderful creatures in the BUGS centre; we saw ants making their own habitats by carrying leaves across ropes and some faced their fears by going into a room full of giant spiders! It was a long and tiring day after walking around 12 kilometres (!) but it was enjoyed by all.
On Tuesday 9th May 2017 fourteen year 11 students travelled to the Dominion Theatre, in Tottenham court road, for the annual English PIXIL Conference. The conference focused on the AQA Language Paper 1 and Paper 2. PIXIL staff members identified the key questions pupils are struggling with nationally, showed pupils how to approach the most challenging questions, explored the mark scheme and used various strategies to help build the pupils’ confidence.
It was both inspiring and engaging, with pupils stating that it had really helped them prepare for the exams.
On Friday 12th May, the whole of year nine embarked on a day trip to the seaside as part of their current geography topic – Coasts. With three full coaches of students, together with thirteen teachers we set off under cloudy skies and it wasn’t long before we had to stop at the services on the A3 due to somebody already needing the toilet. However, this was a welcome break as both students and teachers were able to stretch their legs, buy refreshments and get some fresh air.
On arrival in Bognor, students had five minutes on the beach before they were each given a booklet and set off to do their different activities – Coastal defences with Mr Hudson, History of Bognor with Mr McIntyre and Coastal Poetry with Mr Kelly.
A respite in the weather we thought as blue skies appeared and the sun came out. By this time everyone was hungry and the queue for fish and chips outside the fish and chip shop next to the pier was nearing fifty or sixty.
After half an hour of rain, the sun really came out and everybody had a great time on the beach. Students played Frisbee, went for a paddle or just soaked up the sun as well as buying ice-creams from the local beach café. At 4pm we all got on the coaches and headed back to London. On the journey home, some girls sang, some slept after a really enjoyable day at the seaside.
The Pixl conference invited Year 11 students from schools around London with the aim of advising strategies to reach a high grade 5 and beyond. Mr Cullen and Mr Hassell accompanied the girls to The Dominion Theatre in Tottenham Court Road and were treated to free Pixl resources along with an extensive coverage of methodologies to apply across a range of GCSE Maths topics, including solving equations, percentages, ratios, area and perimeter. The conference then ended with a hilarious stand-up performance from comedian David McQueen, who helped to motivate the students with this final push before the GCSEs in May/June. The whole day proved to be an encouraging, entertaining and most of all, enlightening day for all FCGS members involved.
On Wednesday 10th May, some of our students participated in a basketball match which took place at Fulham Cross Girls’ School. This was against Hammersmith Academy.
The girls worked very well as a team, starting off strong and continuing to play strong throughout. The end result was: 31 – 10 to FGCS.