Headteacher's End of Term Newsletter - February Half Term
Dear Parents /carers
It has been another action packed term with mock exams dominating for years 11 and 13 as they work towards their fast approaching exams in 11 school weeks’ time. The football teams continue to go from strength to strength in a variety of cups both locally and nationally, Rugby, Basketball and Cross Country success highlights our super talented sportsmen. A thank you needs to go to the very committed PE staff who give their time generously for training and fixtures and to our amazing sportsmen who relentlessly turn up for training and represent their school with pride.
Year 13 as well as studying hard for their mocks have been focussed on University places and have a plethora of offers coming in. You will be aware that some top courses are very competitive for places and we are delighted to announce that Henry Patient has been offered a place to read Economics at Emanuel College Cambridge and George Wakeley has been offered a place to read medicine at Sheffield. Congratulations to all students on their offers for university and apprenticeships.
This week we have had a meeting with the local authority regarding the expansion, planning has now been granted and the build should start on time in July 2019. You may also be aware that we have started a Capital Fundraising Campaign for a very much need Sixth Form Centre. Our current facilities can only be described as poor at best. This is something the school and governing body feel passionate about, our students deserve the very best and unless we take direct action as a school community I fear nothing will change as the education funding crisis continues. The campaign is underway and the first invites for parental receptions have gone out. Please support these events and come and listen to our plans. You are very much part of this journey and we are committed to ensuring that our students have a Sixth Form to aspire to. For further information please contact Liz Outten the schools campaign manager.
Hopefully the half term break will provide a much needed rest and point us in the right direction for Spring. As always thank you for your continued support.
Amanda Simpson, Headteacher
Sixth Form Centre Fundraising Campaign
A big hello from the Sixth Form Centre Fundraising Campaign office. I am Liz the Campaign Manager. The campaign is well underway. We have already raised an amazing £47,000 but we still have a long way to go.
We have a committed Campaign board but we still need more members, please contact either myself or Amanda Simpson if you’d like to have an input in this amazing project to better the school for your sons’ future.
We will be holding a number of parent information evenings to provide you with further detail of the plans and progress of the campaign. The invitations for the first of these evenings have been sent out.
The students will also be involved in the campaign, they will be producing a short film about the school and what it means to them, there is also a competition for them to come up with a strapline for the campaign, something catchier than the “Sixth Form Centre Fundraising Campaign”! Please encourage them to get involved where they can.
Liz Outten, Campaign Manager (email@example.com)
GCSE Art Trip to the Tate Modern
We set off on the hour and a half long journey to the Tate Modern on the South Bank, London, early one morning. Although it actually ended up being around two hours due to traffic, we still had high spirits and began our trip by spending the next hour and a half exploring the various exhibits. We saw many pieces of modern art the next being even more crazy than the previous one and I found it particularly interesting to attempt to imagine the thoughts the artist had behind creating each composition. Our aim was to find pieces of work relating to our ongoing theme ‘inside’, i.e. bones, microorganisms and wrapped objects. Later, we were to make 2-3 dry media compositions inspired or relating to the artwork we had found.
After lunch, we had the opportunity to experience one of the Tate Modern’s workshops and luckily the tasks set for us linked in well with our theme of inside. Upon taking us to a piece which consisted of makeshift huts and shelters, much like a shanty town, we were asked to analyse what the artist meant when they created it and how it made us feel. Our guide then went on to ask as to create a composition of a place that made us feel calm, whether it be inside our head or a physical location.
Using bits of paper, boxes, yarn and sticks we began making our ideas a reality. I made a fire for the inner warmth and light it represents, whilst also making me reminisce of toasting marshmallows whilst camping. Overall I felt it was a great experience and was very enriching giving me new ideas on how I could work with different sets of media to improve my art, along with realizing the meaning behind the work is just as important in some cases as the appearance of the final composition.
Finn Knapp, 10K
Artist for this month is George Altshul 8A.
Our new Parent communication system, Schoolcomms/Gateway will launch after half term. Please make sure you have signed up to the website or downloaded the app before the end of half term. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
The hugely popular PTA Quiz Night was a sell out event, raising over £1,000. 20 teams battled it out, with the Teachers Rule team winning, closely followed by Back For Another Go. Many thanks to everyone who attended and helped out, and to the local businesses who kindly donated raffle prizes. The next PTA event is our Dinner and Auction night on 30th March. Tickets are now available online www.pta-events.co.uk/twgsbpta please come along to support our fundraising efforts for the school and to have what promises to be a 'Fabulous' time!
Sixth Form Well-Being Ambassadors
Here are some of our Wellbeing Ambassadors, who have completed training to enable them to support other students from across the School. They are holding lunchtime drop ins, where everyone is welcome.
It has been a very busy start to the year for the lower school rugby teams with a talented year 7 A team achieving 100% success. The year 7 A team’s most notable results were against quality opposition and included a 35 – 20 win over Judd and a close fought victory over Rochester Maths 20-15. The year 7 A's also achieved a comfortable win over a strong Year 8 TWGSB B team and were far too strong for Sackville and Bennett. The year 7 B and C team also gained experience and put in good performances against Judd and Rochester but unfortunately were unable to overcome more experienced and well drilled opponents. The year 7 B team now have the West Kent League to look forward to with matches starting after half term.
Year 8 A team have also had a successful series of games and although they lost narrowly to Judd in the last few minutes of the game both A and B teams achieved comfortable wins over Sackville and Bennett.
On Wednesday 30th January the TWGSB 3G pitch hosted a trial for a Brighton & Hove Albion FC Advanced Centre for talented players in the area. Over 50 boys attended and the first training session for those selected will take place on Wednesday 27th February. This is a very exciting project to be involved with.
The 1st XI has reached the Final of the Kent Cup. This term the team won 5-1 against Highworth GS in the Quarter-Final and 4-1 against Harvey GS in the Semi-Final. The Final will be against Oakwood Park GS date and venue to be confirmed.
The 2nd XI has reached the Quarter-Final of the Kent Cup and will play Oakwood Park GS at TWGSB on Wednesday 27th February.
The Year 12 U’17 team has reached the Semi-Final of the Kent Cup and will play away at Hayes on Wednesday 13th February.
The Year 11 U’16 team lost in one Kent Cup Semi-Final against St Paul’s. In the other Kent Cup the team travelled to Borden GS, Sittingbourne in the Quarter-Final. The team played well and drew 1-1 after extra-time but lost in the penalty shootout.
The Year 10 U’15 team has reached the Final of the West Kent competition and will play Hayesbrook in the Final in May. The team won 3-1 against Knole Academy in the Semi-Final. The Year 10 Futsal team has reached the Kent Cup Semi-Final and will play Dover GS on Wednesday 13th February.
The Year 9 U’14 team had a very good run in the ESFA National Cup reaching Round 6 Last 32 (626 teams entered). The team drew 1-1 and lost 3-1 after extra-time against Riddlesdown Collegiate. Henry Sworder and Sam Gale have continued to represent Kent Schools FA U’14s. Their team won 4-1 against Sussex in the national cup semi-final and they have a national cup final to look forward to.
The Year 8 U’13 teams have performed extremely well. The A team has played 15 matches and won 15 matches. The team has reached Round 7 Last 16 (670 teams entered) of the ESFA National Cup and will play away at Northampton School for Boys on Thursday 14th February (they lost that game but it could have gone either way). The team has also reached the Quarter-Final of the ESFA Elite National Cup and will play at TWGSB against Northampton School for Boys on Tuesday 26th February. The team has reached the Semi-Final of the Kent Cup and will play Hurstmere. The team has reached the Final of the West Kent competition and will play St Gregory’s in the Final in May. The team has also reached the Final of the Kent Futsal Cup and will play Harvey GS. The B team has played 4 matches, won all 4 matches and has reached the Quarter-Final of the ESFA National Cup for B teams. The team plays Ivybridge Community College from Devon at TWGSB on Friday 15th February (They won 3-2 after being down 2-0 in the secondhalf). 30 boys have been training with Brighton & Hove Albion FC Coaches once a week after school. House football will start after half-term.
The Year 7 U’12 A team had a very good run in the ESFA National Cup reaching Round 6 Last 32 (624 teams entered). The team has improved over the course of the year but lost against a very strong Dorothy Stringer team from Brighton. 30 boys have been training with Brighton & Hove Albion FC Coaches once a week after school. Inter-Form football will start after half-term.
Very well done to all of the boys involved with these teams. They have been a credit to the school and should feel proud of what they have achieved.
Sixth Form Spanish
Year 12 and 13 A Level Spanish students enjoyed the current production of La Casa de Bernarda Alba at the Cervantes Theatre in London on the 8th February.’ The House of Bernarda Alba explores themes of repression, passion and conformity through the depiction of a matriarch’s domination of her five daughters. The students agreed that the casting was excellent and that it was a very high-quality production’.
They also went to see The Heiresses (Las Heredereras) Film in the Trinity Theatre on Wednesday 13th February. The Heiresses is a critically acclaimed Spanish language drama about wealthy women who live in Asuncion, Paraguay.
Cross Country Update
Kent Schools’ Cross Country, Duke of York’s Military School, Dover, Saturday 20th January 2019
TWGSB had its highest ever number of competitors in the Kent County Cross Country Championships, with a dozen boys making the long trek to Dover.
The opening race for Year 7 runners saw well over 100 boys get off to a lightning fast start, with Joe Hickey well to the fore. Joe held his position in the top-20 throughout the race, coming in a very pleasing 17th place. Starting more slowly and carving his way through the field was Zach Green, who just failed to make it into the top-30 in 32nd position, with Indy Morris in 41st and Jem Matthewson in 78th also running very strongly in a top-quality race. Joe and Zach scored for the borough team that finished an impressive 2nd place overall.
Next up for TWGSB were Dillon Hobbs and Zac Jones in the intermediate boys race. This also started extremely quickly, with Dillon covering the opening kilometre of six in a startling 3-15. Despite the fast start, he used his grit and excellent stamina to hold onto a top-20 finish in 16th. Also working hard was Zac Jones, who battled impressively for 30th place, with both Dillon and Zac scoring for the borough team that placed 5th.
Last up was the Junior Boys’ race with six runners from TWGSB in the race for Year 8 and 9. Last year had been a disaster for Isaac Arnott when he lost a shoe twice in horrendously muddy conditions. This year, underfoot conditions were perfect and with bright but chilly weather, Isaac started well, with Jamie Macdonald and Jamie Witz close behind. Throughout the race, Jamie Macdonald tracked Isaac but each time he moved to overtake Isaac responded with an increase in pace. Jamie Witz had been the victim of a dangerous tackle playing football the day before and was tentative on the downhill sections, enabling the other two to build up a small lead. On the second lap the slower starting Angus Currie began to close the gap on his faster stating teammates and had narrowed their lead to less than 10 seconds with half a mile to go. Up the last hill, Isaac was just ahead of Jamie Macdonald and momentarily looked to be weakening but then picked up the pace over the last 200m to pull away for a tremendous 12th position. Three seconds back came Jamie Macdonald in an impressive 15th place, with Jamie Witz in 17th. After working hard on the second lap, Angus Currie struggled over the last quarter of a mile but was rewarded with a solid 22nd place, showing that he continues to narrow the gap on the other three after a long lay-off due to illness. Also racing were Will Henry and Sam Kennedy from Year 8 who both had strong runs. TWGSB provided the first four finishers for the Tunbridge Wells district team that won the team competition from Tonbridge by a single point.
'An immaculate, high tech, comfortable Mercedes coach was the perfect way to start the two day trip which would take us, a group of year eleven and twelve prospective students, around the University of Cambridge and Oxford.
So we all buckled in for a three hour journey which would take us to the peak of UK further education, first stopping in Cambridge University.
Upon arriving and laying eyes on Queens College for the first time, I knew that the journey had been worth it, beautiful architecture and grand halls which wouldn't look out of place in Hogwarts and vast and expansive outdoor green space.
Our first taste of life at Cambridge came from a French PHD student who had impressively learnt English , studying for his PHD chemistry at Queens who then proceeded to give us a standard chemistry lecture on encapsulation.
After this we toured around the magnificent Tudor buildings of Queens and the accommodation- everyone was delighted to learn that most dorms at Cambridge come with an en suite bathroom.
After a pleasant lunch in one of the most spectacular halls I had ever set eyes on, we attentively listened to all the advice the Queens college outreach officer, Maria McElroy could give us on administration of our UCAS applications and ways to strengthen our applications and widen our knowledge of our chosen subjects. Following this, we toured Cambridge town, quite possibly the most picturesque place I have ever visited, traditional buildings coupled with a positive and friendly atmosphere was a winning combination.
Now a two hour journey to Oxford awaited us, Oxford certainly had a lot to live up to!
A cosy youth hostel and a late night escorted trip around Oxford town paired with a game of pool served as the perfect end to the day as we prepared to visit St Hugh's college the next morning.
Succeeding a surprisingly delicious full English breakfast and another trip around Oxford town (there is much to explore is such a large, bustling and exciting town centre) we took a short trip to St Hugh's college.
It was after stepping through the entrance to the college that I realised why applicants have such a hard time deciding between the two competing universities, extensive green space and elegant buildings stretched before me. We were met by an enthusiastic college outreach officer who gladly answered the numerous questions we had and provided extremely useful tips on applying to Oxford, this was followed by a tour of this extremely glamorous college .We saw their impressive library, accommodation and more, truly astounding, architecture.
After another delicious lunch we all climbed back into the coach ready for the journey home, all filled with a surge of motivation to work harder than ever in order to make this small taste of life at a top university a reality.'
Harry Francis, Year 12
Congratulations to the Year 8 and Year 10 basketball squads who have made good progress in the West Kent Basketball League. The Year 8 team defeated Bennett but lost narrowly to both St Gregs and Skinners. The Year 10 have had victories against Bennett and St Gregs but lost narrowly to Skinners. Training attendance for all year groups has been excellent, including those who are not currently playing League matches. Many thanks to all who have attended lunch-time sessions, which will continue in term 4 with some inter-House basketball also!
Year 7 PSHE Day - Photos below
The boys worked on Internet Safety and did some Team-Building exercises.
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