Headteacher's End of Term Newsletter - July 2019
Dear Parents and Carers
The run in to the end of term has been a hectic one: we can categorically oppose the myth that schools wind down in the summer term. It has been an exceptionally busy term with the finish of formal exams, the preparation for the forthcoming academic year and an activities week thrown in for good measure.
Once again activities week provided a wealth of opportunities for different residential and day trips. Years 10 and 12 engaged in a week of work experience across a wide range of sectors. The feedback from employers has been overwhelmingly positive and students have benefitted greatly from a week in the work environment.
I’d like to thank all of the staff involved in activities week as without such a commitment from staff it simply would not happen. A special mention needs to go to Mrs Fedrick who has the daunting and often thankless task of organising the whole week. You will see from the main content of the newsletter the range of activities and what an amazing time was had by all involved.
This term we have held a number of receptions for our, ‘Today, Tomorrow, Together’ capital fundraising campaign. The campaign board are working tirelessly and have been instrumental in ensuring the success of the campaign thus far. We have really exciting plans and are fully committed to delivering them. Please scroll down to our Fundraising Update for further information.
As you are aware, our basic needs expansion is due to start over the summer. I can now confirm that Baxall have been awarded the tender and we are very much in the process of aligning the build schedule with the needs of the school. They are a very experienced contractor who have worked on many school projects across Kent. Certainly from our initial meetings they have instilled a level of confidence, watch out or a Twitter feed keeping everyone updated with the project.
We have had the pleasure of Awards afternoon this week. It is always a highlight and an exceptionally proud moment to watch the students collect their awards and listen to the citations their teachers have written about their endeavours. Congratulations to all students who were nominated and the award winners.
The end of an academic year always means that some staff move on and this year is no different. Having spoken to a wide range of parents, I appreciate your concerns over staffing and this year has indeed proved challenging. I’m delighted to say that we are fully staffed for September having appointed some excellent practitioners. The recruitment crisis in education is sadly a very real one and when underpinned by a £5.4 billion gap in education funding it becomes exceptionally challenging. We are hopeful in the next spending review that education may fair better.
To those staff who are leaving us a heartfelt thank you, your contribution to TWGSB has been invaluable. We wish you all the very best for the future.
As the summer break begins, I’d like to wish you all a very restful, happy and sunny summer holiday.
Thank you for your continued support.
Amanda Simpson, Headteacher
Senior Student Leadership Team
It is with great pleasure that we can announce our Senior Student Leadership Team for 2019/20. They will lead a team of 18 Senior Prefects and 15 House Captains, taking on a range of responsibilities including charity fundraising, organising school events, mentoring and leading our house teams. Collectively they are an incredible group of ambassadors for our school:
Head Boy - Harry Francis
Head Girl - Hannah Sexton
Deputy Head Students - Jacob Bottley, Gabriel Kupper
Senior House Captains - Rory Sturgeon, Harvey Wood
News from the PE Department
Congratulations to the Year 7 A team who came 12th out of 26 teams in the Kent Schools Games Finals in Gillingham in early June. The boys were a credit to the school with notable performances achieved by Toby Mc Adams ( 2nd in the Javelin) and Myles Treherne ( 2nd in 200m). Due to adverse weather and activities week, there was only 2 West Kent Athletics meets this year, but the attendance and enthusiasm for athletics has been very evident this year in Year 7 and 8, as was proved with a very successful Sports Day on 5th July, with Eagles and Falcons dominating the majority of events. Many thanks to all athletes this year, particularly those who have regularly attended athletics practice on Tuesday and Thursday lunchtimes.
Year 7 reached the quarter final of the Kent Cup, losing eventually to St Olaves with a very strong bowling performance from the opposition. However, there has been some excellent team and individual performances in the cricket this year and hopefully the recent success of the England World Cup winning squad will inspire more boys to play cricket on a regular basis at school and club level.
Year 8 Hawks (2) win 3-2 in the penalty shootout
We had 7 x Year 8 House football matches this summer term.
Approximately 100 boys in Year 8 represented their House team.
On Monday 15th July we had the 2 semi-finals. Eagles (8E) won 4-3 against Merlins (8A). Hawks 2 (8B) won comfortably 12-5 against Kestrels (8D).
On Tuesday 16th July the Final was played after school. The teams were evenly matched and played out a tense 0-0 after 60 minutes. Hawks 2 won 3-2 in the penalty shootout.
A Final Message from the Head of P.E
As many of you may be aware, this is my final term at TWGSB after 24 very happy years as Head of Department. I am immensely proud of my Department, which has been together for the last sixteen years and provided a variety of extra-curricular opportunities at inter-form, inter-house, inter-school, district, County and National Level. Obviously the numerous County Cups, National Cup runs (including a fantastic 2018-19 season for the Year 8 A and B team football squads) will live long in the memory, but also how we have managed to broaden the extra-curricular opportunities for all abilities in the school is so important, and we have so many more students representing the school than we had when I first joined. Regular P.E and sporting participation is so important for the physical and mental well-being of every individual; please encourage your child to stay healthy and exercise regularly.
A huge thanks to all the staff and Parents who have helped with clubs and fixtures over the years and finally a massive thanks to all the boys who have attended clubs or represented the school; you have been a pleasure to teach and I will miss that part of my job the most, but I leave with very fond memories and I will keep in touch with the school’s progress on the sporting front.
Many thanks for all your support, K. Downing
The Peterhouse Essay Competition Cambridge
We are so proud that Thomas Brian is one of this years' winners in Peterhouse’s Vellacott History Prize. The standard of entries was really high, but the judges felt that his essay stood out for its clarity of argument, stylish prose, level of research and originality of thought. This commendation puts him in the top 15 out of over 200 entries.
Battle of the Bands
Another highly-successful Battle of the Bands took place this term, with 9 groups taking part. The show featured students from TWGSB as well as a few external participants, who all performed to a packed crowd. Also back were comments from three external judges and the popular post-performance interviews with head boy Edward Shamwana, whose light touch always manages to put the audience at ease. In addition to a table full of merchandise and accessories that were handed out at the end, we were also able to give away two guitars and two amplifiers, all generously donated by Abbey Music. The Music Department would like to thank members of staff who supported the occasion. The boys really enjoyed this event and we look forward to building on this next year!
EPQ Sussex Library Visit
Many of our Year 12 students have opted to undertake The Extended Project Qualification alongside their A Level Studies to enrich their curriculum. As part of the programme, this term they had the opportunity to visit a University Library to conduct their research. It has been a pleasure to see students thrive in their chosen academic field and pursue their interests.
Year 7 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'
On the 28th of June the theatre company ‘Box Clever’ visited the school to deliver what turned out to be a fantastic adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play ‘A Midsummer Night’s dream.’
The production, which was performed exclusively for our Year 7 students in the main hall, had the whole year group engrossed right from the opening scene. The actor playing the character of ‘Bottom’ had the boys hanging on his every word. He has a future in teaching!
I commended all of the actors involved in the production for what was a first class performance. They were all very complimentary of our students – ‘they laughed at the right bits’ ‘they oohed and aahed at the right bits’ and ‘they were quiet at the right bits.’
In what was an incredibly hot day sitting in the main hall for quite a long time, the Year 7’s can be very pleased with the part they played in a successful theatre production and for my part I was very proud of them and their conduct throughout.
Year 8 Geography Field Trip to the Coast
Year 8 classes went to Eastbourne to examine how and why Geographical processes are being managed. They looked for evidence of longshore drift and erosion and evaluated the extent to which current management strategies were sustainable. Students have been writing up their fieldwork back in school. They have found it especially interesting trying to explain why the theory they learn in the classroom doesn’t always manifest itself so clearly in the ‘messy’ real world.
Year 9 Natural History Museum Trip
Today next year’s Year 10 Art students went to the Natural History Museum to make some Art. First, we did a short timed group-drawing task of the whale in the main hall. After this, we went on to take our won photographs and make some drawings of the exhibits in the museum in situ. We had a productive and enjoyable day with our new classmates and came home with a range of images to start our GCSE course .
Seb Barratt, 9E
PTA logo design house competition.
We had some excellent entries from across KS3 but well done to Year 7 who pulled out the stops! Congratulations to Zach Furlonger 7D who won overall; gaining 75 housepoints plus Art related prizes. Leo Cope 7H & Edward Prout 7D were the runners up, each receiving 50 housepoints.
Look out for Zach’s design appearing on PTA correspondence in the future!
West Kent College Foundation Course Exhibition
On the 27th June the Year 12 Art students visited the Foundation Course end of year show at West Kent College. We all loved seeing the variety of pieces and sketchbooks made from a range of disciplines such as fashion, photography and fine art, and loved learning the inspiration behind the pieces such as current affairs or personal histories. It gave us all a greater insight into options post-A Level and was all in all an informative and enjoyable trip.
Hannah Sexton 12D
On the 1st of July, Simon Singh visited Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys to talk to our Year 11 and 12 pupils, which was an opportunity to see Maths in a different context. Simon Singh is a renowned author and has written the book “Fermat’s Last Theorem” which his talk was based on.
Year 12 Economists
On 15th July Year 12 Economists took part in a presentation by the Bank of England. Students developed their understanding of the role of the Bank of England, and specifically how they have helped ensure stability in financial markets. This included how they have stopped their mechanisms of bailing out large banks, to bailing in stakeholders to protect taxpayers. Students were particularly fascinated by the cash briquettes they received; packets of shredded bank notes, each with the equivalent of approximately £500 inside them.
Year 10 Geography GCSE Fieldtrip to Greenwich
On Tuesday 4th June and Wednesday 5th June, Year 10 Geography students headed up to Greenwich to investigate: ‘Is Greenwich Millennium Village more sustainable than Historic Greenwich?’ This was to fulfil the requirement that students carry out one Human Geography fieldwork investigation in preparation for Paper 3 next Summer. What was particularly interesting was how two such contrasting environments can both still have elements of sustainability within them. A positive and productive time was had by all.
Madrid trip 2019
Mr Downing, Mr Wheeler, Mr Browne and myself left our houses very early to meet 40 lucky pupils to travel to Madrid this year.
Our journey started at 4am on Monday but it was worth it. The activities were tailored for every student and they seemed to enjoy all of them. Firstly, we all went to ‘La Casa del Juli’ where they enjoyed some bullfighting lessons. Some other activities included this year were the visit to the Warner Bros theme park, Hard Rock Café, cooking lessons and we were very lucky as when we went to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, we saw the presentation of the new Brazilian defender for Real Madrid Eder Militao. The atmosphere according to Mr Wheeler was great and unforgettable. We also travelled outside of Madrid to a little town called Fuenlabrada where boys had some Spanish and Flamenco lessons!
Year 12 English Literature trip to Bateman’s
A beautiful summer’s day was had by all when we visited Rudyard Kipling’s family home in Burwash earlier this term. The students study ‘My Boy Jack’ by David Haig, which explores the lengths to which Rudyard might be held responsible for sending his son to War, resulting in his subsequent demise. The students left with an important understanding of the role that John’s home life played in his decision to join up in World War 1 and an appreciation of the setting described and alluded to in the play.
Chile and Argentina Outlook Expedition
Once again the pupils from TWGSB are doing a grand job representing their families, their school and their country abroad. Everywhere we go people comment on how delightful they are and are impressed with their maturity, their responsibility and the respect that they have for each other and those they encounter. So far each stage of the expedition has been incredible: the eclipse in Vicuña was awesome, the treks in the Atacama desert were incredible and our time at Bede’s Grammar School staying with host families (where we are at the moment) is giving them a superb opportunity to practise their language and their social skills. We are looking forward to our trip to Puerto Madryn to go whale watching... apparently (and very obligingly) the whales turned up yesterday, slightly earlier than usual! It is an absolute privilege to accompany such a great group on expedition, and watch them grow into young adults as responsible citizens of our planet.
On Friday 21st June about approximately 30 boys from years 7-10 were treated to a session on inflatables on the school field to celebrate their successfully achieving 100% attendance this academic year. The boys had a great time competing against each other. We want to celebrate excellent attendance and punctuality more frequently and our Attendance Officer Mrs Bailey, has this term been rewarding Form Groups who have the best attendance and the best punctuality records each week.
Teachers as learners
A good teacher never stops learning or wanting to learn - Thank you to Ms Kublik who ran a pottery class after school this term during well-being week where some of us took the opportunity to spread our creative wings and learn how to make our own tea light holders, plant pots and jewellery. Unfortunately we won’t get to see the finished result until September but it was a great chance to unwind and do something out of our comfort zones.
Once again, we are extremely proud of our Carnegie Shadowers who spent 11 weeks reading eight shortlisted books from the national Carnegie Shadowing Scheme. It culminated in 37 boys taking part in the Annual Carnegie Shadowing Balloon Debate with TWGGS, Skinners’ and SKA. TWGGS hosted the event on the 18th of June. It was a wonderful, lively morning with lots of exited chatter about the books. All schools enjoyed getting together to discuss the merits of the books, make friends and eat a mountain of cake.
The winning debate team which comprised students from TWGSB, TWGGS, Skinners’ and SKA included impressive public speaking from:
Will Jones 9D (also a good team leader)
Daniel Ross 8C and Edward Foreman 8E (opened the presentation with some amusing rapping)
Leo Cope 7H and Jem Matthewson 7E (both spoke so well for year 7’s in what can be a daunting environment).
Together with their teammates from the other schools, they argued that the book Poet X, a novel-in-verse by award-winning slam poet Elizabeth Avevedo, about an Afro-Latina heroine should win the Carnegie Medal for Children’s literature. As it turned out, Poet X, did win the Carnegie Medal, the winner of which is chosen by adults. It also won the first time prize of “Shadower’s Choice” which means it was voted number one by school children around the country.
The following boys also won prizes on the morning:
Best Alternative Book Cover: Jamie Macdonald 9G
Runner up: Archie Fisher 9E
Best Book Review: Luke Griffiths 8B
Runner up: Noah Beresiner 8B
All boys who take part in Carnegie Shadowing benefit in some way from the experience. Not just the reading of books, which they may not normally pick up but it also, builds confidence. We were very impressed this year with the number of boys who took themselves out of their comfort zone and spoke in the presentations, became brilliant team leaders or active participants.
TWGSB has its own Carnegie Award for the boy who has shown excellence in teamwork, public speaking, critical analysis of the shortlisted literature and who has of course read at least six of the books. This year the award went to Archie Fisher 9E, narrowly beating outstanding participants Jamie Macdonald 9G, Miguel Mellinger 9G and Noah Sanders 9D.
As usual, the TWGSB boys’ behaviour and enthusiasm was impeccable and all staff and boys thoroughly enjoyed the event.
Hawks win the Year 7 Inter-House Maths Challenge
Forty-eight students recently took part in the Year 7 Inter-House Maths Challenge, which was a most enjoyable and active day of mathematical problem solving. On arrival the boys were given some warm up questions to prepare their brains for the competition! The first challenge involved the whole team working together to solve mathematical problems. The second activity was the Shuttle competition, followed by the Relay. In the Shuttle, each team of four was divided into two pairs, A and B. Pair A were given odd numbered questions and B had the even numbered questions. The answer to question 1 could be calculated without any additional information but each of the other questions required the previous answer from the other team before it could be solved. In the Relay, each pair took it in turns to answer a question. Once a question was completed, one student had to run to their leader to get it marked and then take the next question to the other pair who were sitting at the opposite end of the hall. After lunch, the competition continued with different types of puzzles: pentominoes, code breaking, maths cross-number puzzle and online activities to support the charity freerice.com by answering different subjects questions ranging from Maths, science, English, languages and others. Year 7 Inter House maths Competition in the past four years has managed to raise over half a million grains of rice which is donated by UNICIF to disaster areas around the world. For your information; on average their are 50,000 grains to a kilogram of rice.
After an extremely competitive day, Hawks came first. Well done to the Hawks representatives: GALLIER Dylan, GREENSMITH Tom, HANDCOCK George, HEGGIE Finlay, EU Calvin, BHOBHO Munashe, GROVER-RUMSEY Jared, MATTHEWSON Jem.
Read for Good
CONGRATULATIONS to Year 7 for taking part in the Read for Good. This year the total raised was £890.32. Well Done to 7B who smashed the other form groups to win the much coveted 3G hour for Get Caught Reading and to Finlay White also in 7B for his amazing entry in this year’s photo competition, his prize is to follow…
Activities Week in School
During Activities Week this year students in school took part in a wide range of workshops and were given a chance to try new skills. The Art Department worked with students to produce marvellous prints and the DT department helped students to design and make their own t-shirts and clocks as well as designing architectural models all to a very high standard. The Army put the Year 9’s through their paces and students had great fun trying out camouflage techniques along with team building challenges. Students also had a taste of different cultures with a trip to Neasdon Temple (see below) and had a go at learning how to play Boules. Various mathematical puzzles were carried out by students (see below for Year 8 Projectiles workshop) and the Geography Department encouraged students to present ideas to save energy and think about renewable forms of power. Trips to Herstmonceaux and Chatham Docks were both new to Activities Week and students enjoyed the workshops and tours. All students were able to enjoy a morning or afternoon of PE.
The Day Trip to France was another highlight to the week with students visiting a Boulangerie and a chocolate factory and attempting to make conversation where possible .
Finally the week ended on a well deserved trip to Thorpe Park for Year 9’s where students enjoyed all the rides .
Scroll down to the page gallery for photos which also includes a few photos from our residential trips.
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
During activities week Year 9 took the oppertunity to vist the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. During this trip they experienced a 'Darshan' (viewing) of the sacred images of the shrine and took part in the 'Arti' ceremony (service) where lighted lamps are waved befeore the sacred images. They were also fortunate to have a question and answers session where many insightful and thoughtful questions were asked and discussed. A great day was had by all.
Year 8 Projectile Workshop
Year 8 discussed the different types of projectiles ranging from rockets to football and looked at how the type of projectile and angle affect its path. Each group of pupils then constructed their own projectiles which they then tested on the playground. One projectile travelled 18m.
- All Articles