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Thank you to everyone who joined us for our carol service at Hexham Abbey on Monday evening and to families and friends who have supported the school throughout the Autumn Term.

On behalf of the staff of Hexham Middle School, we would like to wish everyone a very happy and peaceful Christmas.

School will close for Christmas on Friday 16 December 2016 and will re-open on Tuesday 3 January 2017.

Year 7 and 8 have been treated to an excellent programme of workshops with student ambassadors from Newcastle University.

Both year groups took part in ‘Universi-tree’ which encourages pupils to consider career flight plans that can be undertaken to achieve their goals and aspirations. A key message was that students do not necessarily have to go to University to reach their potential, but in some careers it is a necessary pre-requisite to have a degree. Students looked at how different combinations of GCSEs and 'A' Levels, or their equivalent, can help inform potential subject choices in high school and courses beyond Key Stage 5.

Year 7 also took part, as part of the Humanities programme, in a workshop in Urban Planning. This was a cross-curricular task getting students to consider what is important in our urban environment, how people value different things and how these groups use our urban environments. Students also had to consider how Town Planners influenced the way our urban environments have evolved.

Year 8 participated in the 'I have a dream' workshop, in which they developed their speech writing skills. Inspired by Martin Luther King's famous speech, students were allowed to explore their hopes and dreams and how they would like to influence the world around them.

Students have met during the Autumn term to discuss a range of topics. One of the more interesting topics debated required students to decide between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as the next future President of the U.S. After watching some of the televised Presidential debates, students had to exchange their views on each candidate. When it came to the vote on who was the best person to be the leader of one of the most powerful and influential countries in the world there were mixed opinions.

Most recently, members met and considered how they would spend £500 to improve the school. There were many different opinions shared and we are next going to see pupils debate two suggestions. It is hoped that our School Parliament and Councillors look further at creative ways of generating funds and engaging the student body in deciding how any income could be spent.

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On 7 December 2016, Key Stage Two pupils were enthralled by the stories and engaging presentation given by the children's novelist Abi Elphinstone. She talked all about her experiences growing up in rural Scotland and how her travels around the world have helped to inspire some of her books, characters and settings. Children were then able to ask questions about her life as an author and even got to meet Abi afterwards at a book signing. We all thoroughly enjoyed the presentation and would love to welcome Abi back to school again soon.

On 16 November 2016, 12 very talented bakers were selected to take part in the Hexham Middle School House Bake Off to raise money for Children in Need. The three bakers selected for each House had two and a half hours to bake and present a “Spotacular” themed cake. The cakes were then judged and sold in slices at the Children in Need bake sale. We raised £78.11 for the charity.

The winning house was Aln (Haylie, Isabelle and Luca), winning 50 House Plus Points. In second place was Coquet, followed closely by Wansbeck and then Tweed. It was an extremely hard decision to make as all the cakes were fantastic. Well done to all the bakers!

The Northumberland SUMDOG Maths contest is now live and all HMS pupils have log in details to play the games and make their way up the regional leader board. Let's see if we can get HMS to the top!

Mr Watters