School News

New Principal appointed to Compass School
Ms Thorpe has announced that she will be stepping down as Principal of Compass School Southwark at the end of this academic year. Marcus Huntley, the current Head of School at City of London Academy Southwark will be joining Compass School Southwark as Principal from 1 September 2017. For more information, please read the letters to parents from Ms Thorpe and the Chair of Governors, Leon de Costa. Parents are invited to meet Mr Huntley and ask any questions that they may have at a Parents’ Consultation Evening on Tuesday 11th July at 5pm.
PRESS RELEASE: OFSTED rates Compass School Southwark a Good School
  The governors, staff, students and parents of Compass School Southwark are celebrating receiving a “GOOD” rating from Ofsted, across all categories from effectiveness of leadership and management through to outcomes for pupils. An Ofsted Inspection Team visited the school on 17 and 18 May 2017. The Principal, Lauren Thorpe, said of the outcome:
“Since our last inspection in May 2015, the Governing Body and school staff team have worked tirelessly to drive forward the school and see the whole Compass community rewarded with the Ofsted grade that we deserve. I could not be happier for the parents and students, who can now proudly say that they attend a good school. I am incredibly proud that our strong values of aspiration, integrity, exploration and resilience are highlighted as a strength of the school, and that the good teaching and learning that takes place has been recognised. I am confident that Compass School Southwark can now go from strength to strength, and solidify its place as the school of choice for families in Bermondsey.”

 The key findings of the inspection were:

  • “Leaders and governors have worked effectively to improve standards across the school since the last inspection.”
  • “The most able pupils and disadvantaged pupils make the same good progress as their peers.”
  • “Teachers plan lessons well, considering the needs of pupils in their classes.”
  • “Effective teaching supports good progress over time.”
  • “Pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities make good progress because of the effective care and support they receive.”
  • “Pupils’ attendance and behaviour have improved considerably over time, so that they are now good.”
  • “The curriculum supports pupils’ personal development well.”
  • “The school’s values of aspiration, integrity, exploration and resilience are evident around the school.”
  • “As the school has grown, external challenges have been overcome successfully.”
  • “The school’s work to support vulnerable pupils is strong.”

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Mental health not getting enough attention in schools
By Brooklyn and Conrad

Schools in the UK are not doing enough to help students struggling with mental health issues. These issues consist of depression, anxiety, self-harm, etc. In 2016-2017, statistics show that students do not feel satisfied in their school environment, with the amount of attention and help they have received in relation to their mental health state. This is because only 66% of students described their school as helpful and 70% of students said they have been experiencing negative feelings such as distraught, anger and fear.

Compass reporters have created a survey for teachers in Compass School asking them about their experience in managing mental health in young people.

The statistics say that 50% of teachers didn’t get any training in dealing with mental health. 50% also say that they haven’t helped a student with mental health in a school that they work in; 75% say that they worry about students’ wellbeing in their spare time and half of them think that only some of their students feel comfortable speaking to them about mental health.

Miss Stone, an English teacher at Compass School says: “In my opinion, mental health is not so much ignored as schools are ill-equipped to address the many issues of their students amongst the other duties that they have.” This statement is backed up by the statistic that states that 15% of schools in the UK have appointed student mentors to help with student health, instead of qualified teachers who can actually refer, if necessary, their students to specialists.

Students with disorders such as depression could feel trapped when they have no one in their school to talk to about their feelings. Also, students with anxiety could worsen their disorder by worrying about their state, instead of making their problems and dilemmas vocal. In the future, teacher training should include a course on how to deal with mental health in regard to their students and themselves. This would benefit all school with any students struggling with who they are, who they can talk to, and any tips on their current, previous or possible future state. In a different survey of 700 diverse teachers conducted by the BBC, a quarter of the teachers said that they would not know who to refer a child with mental health to, a third of them had shockingly had no experience in dealing with a student who is struggling with mental health.

Another problem is the amount of trust and confidence that the students have in their teachers or staff at their school. Teachers shouldn’t infantilize their students by putting a censor on topics like depression, anxiety, self-harm, problems at home or domestic violence. By not putting a censor on these themes, they could prepare their students for any kind of problems they could face in their adult life.

To conclude, schools in the UK are definitely not doing the best they could be in dealing with mental health. Some ways we can help this problem is by teaching our teachers about the struggles and how to deal with them. Another way we can help is by making teachers more relatable and approachable.
The World of Books: Q&A about Reading at Compass School Southwark
By Louis, Eronisa and Kirsty, Year 7

World Book Day was on the 2nd  March 2017. Many schools celebrated the day with activities to represent World Book Day. Here at Compass, we played Character Guess Who. Other schools even dressed up as well-known characters.

Today, for BBC School Report, we interviewed several Compass members about what their favourite books are and we asked them the following questions:

Q1) What is your favourite book?

Q2) Who is your favourite author?

Q3) Do you enjoy reading, if not why?

Q4) Who’s your favourite book character?

Q5) Is your holiday your main reading time?


Maurycy Gleba – Year 7 East

A1) The Gone Series

A2) Terry Pratchet

A3) Yes, I enjoy it a lot because I learn from the books

A4) Tiffany Aching because she’s smart and funny


Tegan Wood – Year 7 East

A1) The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time

A2) Jeff Kinney

A4) Christopher because he’s strange


Nancy Dooling – Year 7 North

A1) I can’t choose, I like them all.

A2) Michael Morpurgo because his books are interesting

A4) Matilda because she’s clever, smart and mysterious


Dillon Collinson -   Year 7 North

A1) The Diary Of A Wimpy Kid

A2) Roald Dahl because I like his poems

A4) Manny Heffley because he is really funny


Lily-Mae Headley – Year 7 North

A1) Matilda

A2) Jacqueline Wilson because her books are amazing and inspiring

A3)  It depends on how I’m feeling.

A4) Matilda because she is mischievous, talented and a bookworm

A5) No, because sometime my holidays are times for me to spend time with my family


Ms Quigley – The Librarian

A1) Sense and Sensibility

A2) Janes Austin

A3) I love reading - it’s my passion

A4) Father/Son in Danny The Champion Of The World because I love the relationship they have.

A5) Yes and I’m currently reading Youth action books.


Ms Stone – Head of Trailblazers

A1) I Enjoy many books especially Lluvia de Oro – which means Rain of Gold.

A2) I don’t have a current favourite author, though some of the authors I’ve been reading lately are John Le Carré, Ann Lecki, Michael Grant and Victor Villaseñor.

A3) I love reading because it’s makes me experience adventures and I’m entertained by the stories.

A5) I read outside of my holiday every only read almost 1 hour a day during my commute.


Ms Green – Art Teacher

A1) Dark Materials

A2) Joe Abercrombie because he’s an amazing author.

A3) I enjoy reading because it helps me think better

A4) Gandalf because he’s a powerful wizard

A5) I read beyond my holidays. Because I’m very busy, I normally read on the underground


These questions helped us understand what people thought about books and World Book Day. From these answers it is clear that reading improves people’s knowledge and lives. Roald Dahl and more amazing authors have inspired us to reach out for our dreams and enjoy the world of books. World Book Day has allowed us to find out facts about others and the books they enjoy and their opinion on World Book Day.

The 7 Wonders of Space
By Christopher and Jamie, Year 8

11 months ago, in May 2016 in Chile, the exoplanet system, TRAPPIST-1, was discovered by the TRAPPIST telescope. They found three planets with the TRAPPIST and then the Spitzer telescope confirmed two of them. Eventually, they found five additional planets. However, three of the planets in this new solar system are presumed to be in a habitable zone of the solar system and may even contain liquid water, meaning there could be a potential chance of life! This is an incredibly amazing, new astronomical breakthrough for the scientific community.

  On the other hand, with every discovery comes with its own set of boundaries and problems. The main restriction is the vast distance between planet Earth and these illusive planets. 40 lightyears (235 trillion miles) worth of deadly vacuum between us and it.

Osama, a Year 9 science Subject Specialist, believes that we shall “never be able to achieve this type of technological advancement” and that “we will never get there. Therefore, its significance is extremely minute”.

In contrast, Miss Cockram, the Director of Learning in Compass School, believes that this discovery is “quite exciting as there may be types of life that we haven’t thought of before”. Furthermore when asked about the effect this discovery will have on us she said “it may confuse our motives. The high costs of any possible projects for deep space exploration - we should focus that money on the real problems on Earth like famine”.

  The planets in the TRAPPIS-1 solar system orbit very closely to a red dwarf star, a colder star that is gradually dying and collapsing on itself. Unlike Earth, these planets do not rotate and are in a tidal lock. Due to the close distance from their home star, the side of their planet that is facing their star is extremely hot whereas the other side facing away from the red dwarf is extremely cold, meaning we would have to live in the very middle to not boil or freeze. Sounds like a great place to live!

  Although these planets are so far away that it seems theoretically and practically impossible to reach in our lifetime, it still has given us much more insight into the possibilities of new Earth-like celestial bodies, the thrilling idea of life on other planets and the hope of a new beginning.
Trudy Vs the World: Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge
By Cayla, Lisa and Abdul, Year 7

The inspirational Trudy was chosen from six other competitors.

With her passionate speech about how most girls buy their happiness from the amount of likes per photo from social media, Trudy is now going to preform against the boroughs of London and Essex.

One of the judges Miss Walkey Williams remarked, “It wasn’t easy to choose, I’ve worked with most of the contestants. The decision wasn’t easy but there was a clear winner. I was looking for someone with confidence, who moved around on the stage and who thought about the vocabulary. I also wanted someone who strikes a chord for me.

Maurycy, a year 7 student on the Compass School Council, “I think Trudy should have won as she had good content and structure.”

Marucy also remarked that he would like to participate in the Jack Petchey “because I like speaking my opinion.”

We also got a chance to talk with our second place winner, Archie. He commented, I am happy for Trudy, although I also wanna win and get far, I want her to do well.’

Archie felt, “It was one of my best speeches. I thought what could I do to make a statement. I entered because I thought I would be good at it”

Finally, he mentioned that “Of course they were nervous when we had to do the assembly.”

Compass reporters asked a year 7 student if they were touched by Trudy’s speech.

She replied with, “Yeah. I see where she is coming from and that’s why I don’t wear makeup.”

Jack Petchey started this foundation in 1999, the Jack Petchey Foundation does programmes and projects that benefit young people.

This challenge is available to every state school in London and Essex. The school decides which students will participate. Trudy may go on to the regional finals and from there – a chance to meet the prime minister!

How will the Year 10s cope under pressure? Will Trudy win?

What will happen in the Jack Petchey Speak Out challenge?
Students affected by National Teacher shortage
By Laila, Michael and Rita, Year 9

Across the country there has been an increasing issue of the shortage of teachers. This limits the school’s academic possibilities and prevents the students from the education they need to succeed.

In a school, the teacher’s role is to prepare students for their future. However, with this controversy present, students will not be able to reach their aspirations and goals affecting their futures.

Due to the fact that people going elsewhere to work, there is a lack of teachers, which are influential and significant to how the world is shaped. Young people need the support and guidance to achieve their ambitions and create a new society.

There are reasons why people have decided not to go into the industry or have walked away. This may be because of:

  • Number of students increasing
  • Graduates are finding jobs elsewhere
  • Stress
  • Behaviour
  • Education budgets cut

The national college indicated that demand for new staff will not peak until 2019. This will be when the current year 9 students will doing their GCSEs. If they do not get the basics now, it will be difficult in the following two years.

The two subjects that need more teachers are maths and science, however most people who get a degree in either of them mostly go into STEM rather than teaching. The government is so desperate to gain more qualified teachers, that they are raising the paying price.

Because of the lack subject specialist teachers nationally, many non-specialised teachers are now having to teach or cover subjects that they are not strong in, or didn’t even qualify in.

Teaching is key to any profession; without teachers, no-one would be where they are today. If we don’t give this generation an opportunity to show what they’re capable of, they will not be able to excel and do great things in the future. It’s unfair to them.

Media, the good, the bad and the ugly
By Nhu and Kass, Year 9


Social Media - a platform on which you can communicate, socialise and view world-wide events. But is it all good? With a developing world like ours, is it entirely true to assume that we stay the same online as we do off? In this report we will explore the in-depth truth of what we see on the screens, and what we see off. Have you ever thought that one little thing can change you, the way you perceive yourself, to what you wear and how you think? That’s the one thing about social media: it can make you different from who you actually are. Some people use the platform of social media to change themselves. They put out an image of what they want people to see or think of them. Think about it: have you ever changed yourself for the sake of someone else’s liking? Everyone’s own truth In reality, not everyone shares the same opinions, and with this idea in mind, we interviewed four students and a member of staff asking them three questions:

What is your definition of social media?

“Socialising across multiple platforms, without actually meeting anybody.” – Mr. Egbuchiem

“Communication between other people from different areas, may that be around the world or your home city. They can communicate from taking pictures to video calls” - Amin

“My definition of social media is a platform where you can contact other people, monitor what they are doing and share what you are doing” -Gabriel

Has social media change you personally?

“Yes it has changed me, it is addictive to stay online; I always feel like I need to be on it” -Michael

“It changed my mind-set. Seeing big celebrities having designer clothes makes me want to have all the stuff they have. ”- Amin

“Social media has not changed me as a person however, it has made me care a little less about everyone else, opinion’s and what they are doing”- Gabriel

How do you think social media has changed our modern society?

“It changes some people….. They need to be noticed and be seen as what social media wants them to be, rather than being themselves.” - Safira

“I feel like social media changes people. It makes them different from who they really are. I feel like there is an increase in suicidal thoughts as people change the way who they are because they think they need to and this makes them more unhappy” – Gabriel

“It’s all about what and who you follow that influences you”- Amin

Overall, social media changes a lot of people in a lot of different ways. This suppresses the user’s will to live the life they want to live, and we end up not knowing ourselves or even really knowing others. As we were interviewing we heard a phrase of which sums up this whole idea: Mr. Egbuchiem remarked, “The world is small, yet the person next door is more of a stranger than ever.”
Driving Change Through Diversity
By Elexia and Belle, Year 8


Gender equality still hasn’t come far enough. Many countries have progressed in terms of gender equality, but not all 196 countries are clear.

On Wednesday 8th March, Compass School Southwark celebrated International Women’s Day, sharing their opinions on how women and girls should be treated around the world. Compass School reporters followed up on this very important subject by interviewing students to get their opinions on equality for women.

A year 8 student named Sofiane stated, “I feel bad because girls are not as equal as boys and they don’t have the same opportunities.”

This shows that young men have positive opinions about young girls having rights, and shows that boys do also have the right to stand up in the future and make a change for girls their own age.

Beyond Compass School, international rescue committee teams are helping survivors (young girls) find jobs and break the cycle of violence, and many of them may be boys.

Back at Compass, Shyanne, Year 7, reports, “I feel sad because I don’t think it’s fair on girls in different countries. I also feel a little helpless and guilty, as I take being a girl for granted and I don’t always understand how lucky I really am.’

Over 130 million girls around the world don’t have access to education and well paid jobs. Shyanne feeling this way shows some countries have improved equal rights for what girls need in life but some countries are still in the need of making huge leaps forward.

A young student in Year 7, Abdul, commented, “We all have the same rights, we are all equal and no person deserves to be different from anyone else and excluded because of their gender.”

Compass School is in England and we all have the rights we are entitled to as a country. We are given opportunities that others, particularly young women, just do not have. Many students in England are ever so lucky to have these wide chances of being successful and are trying to change the world while they’re still young. However this does not take place in other parts of the world.

For instance, Year 8 Compass student Tia Lou says, “If I wa s ever pushed to marry at the age of 13 (which is my current age) I would feel distraught and depressed as I am being forced and pushed to do something really don’t want to do.

Out of 196 countries still none are clear of sexism just yet. This affects girls and their families as a lot wouldn’t be comfortable or happy about the things they are being made to do, such as being married of at a young age and having children at the age of fifteen.

Overall, diversity is the cure to this strong dilemma and hopefully we can put a stop to inequality.

Technology – How far has it gone?

by Christopher, Archie and Trudy-Ann

ipadGood morning, good afternoon, good evening: We are Christopher, Archie and Trudy-Ann. We are reporting today on technology, which is without a doubt, the fastest rising phenomenon in the history of the world. Technology has advanced so much ever since the Stone Age, where the wheel was invented around the year 3,500 BC. Today, on March 10th 2016 as this report will go out, the iPhone has had six incarnations, computer have advanced to touchscreen and cars are becoming self-drivable. But what do people think of this sudden surge in technical advancement? We went out and surveyed students and teachers of Compass School on their opinion of technology as a whole. Molly, a proud Year 9 student, remarked:
‘I believe that technology has advanced so much in the history that I believe that it won’t stop producing products that nobody could have dreamed of twenty years ago.
Our hard-working principal Lauren Thorpe stated:
‘I believe that technology can transform today’s society.’
Ben, a Year 7 student to the Compass Community, said that:
‘I think technology can change how humans think in the near future, in terms of jobs, schools and politics as a whole’.
Technology hasn’t just applied to the media and entertainment for us. It’s even part of medicine. For example, one American woman, Jennifer, was born with BAV (Bisucspid Aortic Valve) 38 years ago. Technology enabled her to have a valve replacement that allows her to live a normal life today.  This is just one of several stories of lives being changed through the amazing advancements of technology. Technology is progressing like never before.
Exploring Mental Health at Compass

By Savannah and Stella

Autism Uncovered BrainWhat parent doesn’t expect their child to be anxious or aggravated as a teen? According to The National Autism Society, out of the 700,000 people who have autism spectrum, 34% of children say the worst part about autism is being picked on by others. Brodie, a Year 7 Compass School student remarked, “I had to put up a ‘shield’ to protect myself from the comments. When I was diagnosed at fivve, I found it difficult to come to terms with the fact I was ‘different.’ Sometimes I wish that people would see more than my autism.” Autism affects the way a person communicates. Everyday life for people with autism can be perplexing, daunting and futile. They often find empathising and collaborating with others particularly challenging, which can leave them feeling secluded.   Dyslexia Tells its Story Dyslexia is the most common learning incapacity. According to the organisation, Do Something, 70 to 85% of children who are placed in special education for learning disabilities are dyslexic. Those with dyslexia use only the right side of the brain to process language, while non-dyslexics use three areas on the left side of the brain to process language.Studying A Compass Year 7 student stated, “I feel limited to the things I can do and be because of my dyslexia. I usually get irritated and upset at the lack of respect I get.” Compass students strive to overcome boundaries set by dyslexia. They help each other and don’t judge when someone gets something wrong. Overall, all of the students at Compass need to be aware that there are many issues that may face our peers. We should be compassionate about mental health.  
WeDay UK 2016

WeDayBy Laila and Safira

WeDay is organised each year to pass the message of together, helping to make the world a better place. On the 9th March 2016 in Wembley, London at SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy) arena, WeDay took place. The arena was filled with the youth of the UK. On stage were inspirational speakers such as Professor Brian Cox. We were also honoured to listen to the co-founders: Craig and Marc Kielburger. Musical acts were performed by big artists such as Labrinth and Fleur East. The lights dimmed creating a lively ambience. On stage Laura Whitmore, famous Irish presenter, had the opportunity to open the 2016 WeDay event. We were moved by inspiring stories from people with tough living conditions. Furthermore, we observed the singers express themselves through their songs. Particularly the hit single ‘Am I wrong’ and ‘Love yourself.’ The show was closed by Craig and Marc Kielburger and their words to tell us that we can do anything together. Aasia, a Year 7 student, said, “My favourite parts were the musical bits because we got to dance and have fun.” This event definitely motivated everybody in the audience, especially those of us from Compass, to do something big for our communities.
Has the Media Influenced Bad Behaviour?

By Jamie-Lee, Molly, Belle, Aasia and Sydney

Today at Compass School Southwark, students decided to investigate if social media and certain genres of music have influenced negative behaviour in young people. The investigation is about whether the music industry and media put pressure on children to do things that they wouldn’t normally think of doing, and how it can affect them. We asked Ernie, a Year 9 student at Compass who uses the media and is familiar with the genre of songs we are looking at, about his opinions on the media and inappropriate music. He tells us, “The media does influence wrong choices. The language used in music portrays bad things as appropriate and okay, and people look up to these artists and want to be like them.” Ernie’s statement shows how children being influenced by the wrong people can have a negative impact. They will want to follow in the footsteps of these people, meaning they will mimic their behaviours and habits. However, another Compass student, Hayley, disagrees with Ernie’s views on media. She says, “It is up to you to be influenced by the media or not, and whether you take it to heart.” The year 8 student also quoted a line from a song by a popular artist, Geko which had ‘adult’ connotations. We wonder if it is  appropriate for young people to hear these types of themes. We asked a music manager about his thoughts and he believes that television and media portray sex without showing the meaning and context of the act, which shows it as something completely different to the reality. Studies show that media has had an impact on young people as girls now don’t feel comfortable coming to school without make up on, and boys no longer want to be rough and rugged; they want to be well groomed and have swag. The media is not all to blame for these actions - there are many other circumstances that can result in this, such as peer pressure. But controversially, doesn’t it all link back to the media in some way?  

City_Year's got talent

By Conrad and Brooklyn

On Wednesday 9th of March 2016, Leonardo and Michael, both Year 8 students at Compass School Southwark, made their way to Islington Assembly Hall to compete against other year groups in City Year’s Got Talent from across London. All schools that City Year work with held auditions for the City Year’s Got Talent event. At Compass, it was Ms. Till who organized this. She put up posters and encouraged kids in assembly to join, hoping one act would turn out victorious. The victories belonged to Michael and Leonardo. They performed ‘The River Flows in You’ by Yiruma on piano. They were very close to winning the final competition. “I was quite nervous at first however, I conquered my fear,” claimed Leo. Overall, Michael and Leo had a great time auditioning and felt privileged to go to Islington Assembly Hall. The other acts were happy for their classmates and they felt it impacted the Compass community in a great way; everyone showed aspiration, resilience and exploration by aspiring to win, never giving up and exploring the fierce world of competition.
The Hour of Code
During December 7 -13, many Compass students participated in Computer Science Week through the Hour of Code where participates write code to manoeuvre famous digital characters, like Steve from Minecraft, through various challenges. The Hour of Code is organised by with the aim of having ‘Every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science’. The Hour of Code is supported by President Obama and David Cameron as well as various celebrities. During the Computer Science Week, Apple stores across the UK converted their stores into classrooms for people of all ages to learn coding. Craig Federighi, one of Apple's top executives, explains that when modern lives are so immersed in digital technology, understanding the language of computers has become an essential form of literacy. "These devices are so much a part of our lives, we have a computer in some form wherever we go, that the ability to create in that medium is as fundamental as the ability to write," he said. Have a go yourself by visiting and attain the illustrious Certificate of Completion.
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