Headteacher's End of Term Newsletter - October 2019
Dear Parents and Carers
How quickly this term has gone!
Congratulations to the Year 11 and Year 13 students on their exam successes. All of our year 13 students who wished to embark on university courses have secured their places at a range of prestigious universities and we are delighted to have welcomed a cohort of over 140 students into Year 12. Equally, our new Year 7 cohort have settled in well to life at secondary school. The students have returned with a bang and thrown themselves into a whole range of activities as you will see from the rest of the newsletter. What is clear is that they are never short of enthusiasm! Our Sixth Form students continue to be a wonderful asset in the various ways they have represented themselves and the school to parents and potential students at Open Evening and Open Mornings this past term. The Open Evening and mornings have been exceptionally well attended and we have needed to put on extra days. This is testament to our students and staff who make all visitors so welcome and are keen to show off their school. I thank all of them for their support and efforts.
We returned from the summer break to the start of the ‘basic needs expansion-building project’. This is now very much in full swing. We are meeting weekly with the contractors and look forward to seeing the buildings evolve and taking ownership of them. The date for handover is October 2020. Thank you all for understanding the limitations of car parking and not using the site as requested.
As you will be aware, our new caterers in school, Independent Catering, have settled in well are providing a fantastic service. The quality of the food is fantastic and student feedback has been extremely positive.
I hope you all have a restful break and look forward to welcoming the students back for the new term refreshed, re-invigorated and ready to go.
Amanda Simpson, Headteacher
MacMillan Cancer Support
12C would like to say thank you to all those who supported their MacMillan cake sale on Sept 27th Fri. They raised £215 in a very short amount of time having underestimated the students appetites for doughnuts!
Sixth Form Induction
September 1st saw a brand new Year 12 eagerly ready and waiting for the next exciting stage of their education. Students very smart in their suits and office wear. The buzz of beginning a new year was even louder than usual as old and new friends met up after a highly successful summer break with many stunning sets of GCSE results to celebrate.
The highlight of the first day was “The Golden Bucket Challenge” a prestigious prize for Form Tutor Group commitment and cohesion and general silliness. Plenty of Have-a go Heroes dived into the 69 challenges on offer, from making an outfit out of recycled materials, memorising a sonnet, to proving complex Mathematical equations. Warm congratulations to12G who are the temporary keepers of the Golden Bucket.
Our Induction day visit to Bewl Outdoor Pursuit Centre was great fun in rather chilly, damp conditions. However, the students were determined to tackle every challenge with gusto and determination, impressing their instructors on every challenge. Highlights included the inevitable sinking of the homemade rafts . Mr Lamb and Mr Millar were ridiculously competitive paddling with grave determination as they slowly sank beneath the waves. Mrs Fedrick channelled her Bond Girl dreams, roaring up and down the lake in a rescue speed boat. The students were great ambassadors for the school constantly involving themselves, challenging their fears, supporting each other , encouraging and really bonding in their Tutor Groups. Female students threw down the banner of courage many times, it was a life affirming experience for both staff and students. Thanks to all staff and students involved. We have some glorious photographs of young folk accepting a challenge and giving it their best shot. The Bewl Staff were delighted by our students and their courage and positive attitudes, they have already contacted us to book again next year !
Nourish Campaign Food Bank
Big Thanks to the Year 12 team who are leading our Food Bank Drive this year, each Year 12 Form Group has representatives who are collecting the donations of dried and packaged food and toiletries for the Southborough Food Bank. Donations from all are very welcome.
The European Day of Languages
The European Day of Languages is an initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Commission, celebrated each year on 26 September. The main aims of the day are to raise awareness of the importance of language learning and to encourage lifelong language learning in and out of school.
On Thursday 26 September students completed a quiz during tutor time, where they had to guess the languages that teachers could speak. Staff were encouraged to use their knowledge of another language in their lessons on that day too and Independent Catering provided some delicious food from around the world.
Students were also given a challenge handbook of 51 challenges to complete. Prizes and house points have been awarded to students.
MFL Stars of the Month
Artist of the Month for October is Gus Reading in 10G
An Inspector Calls
On a rather wet Friday afternoon 60 students from Year 11 made the most of the opportunity to see the play ‘An Inspector Calls’, a set text for some of our students. It was an excellent opportunity to see this National Theatre production on tour. Students valued the experience this live production offered and lessons which followed contained lively relevant debate enhancing our understanding of the significance of interpretation and performance.
Cambridge Trip 2019
by Year 12 Student Charlie Ramos
On 8th October William and I were fully immersed in the Cambridge experience, specifically attending Queens’ College, one of the 29 faculties which make up the elite university.
On arrival by train from London Bridge we walked through the quaint city of Cambridge to reach our destination, which was the Porter’s Lodge at the centre of the university campus, where we congregated with students from Skinners and TWGGS - from there we were escorted to Dr Andrew Zurcher’s office (probably the coolest office I’ve ever seen - comparing it to Dumbledor’s office wouldn’t do it justice; although we were told Dr Zurcher wasn’t a massive fan of Harry Potter so I probably shouldn’t). We discussed poetry (specifically sonnets), and he offered insight to aspects of literature which we had never come across. It’s safe to say that everyone in the room was taken aback at the depth of his knowledge which he was keen to share with us.
From here, the group travelled to the banqueting hall at Queens’ College where we had lunch amongst current students at Queens’- banners lined the towering oak walls while grand paintings stared down the lengthy tables. We then met with some students in their second year who took us on a personal tour of the faculty, giving us insight to their time so far at the university and sharing the ins and outs of what it takes to be a Cambridge student. Following this we were taken to the library - but not just any ordinary library, the medieval library at the heart of Queens’. The librarian shared details with us about the importance the library held as Queens’ was formerly a school for priests- one of the first translations of the Bible is held here but unfortunately was not on display.
Finally, we participated in an Admissions Q&A which told us the lengths we had to go to and the work we had to put in if we wanted to aspire to become a part of Queens’ College at Cambridge. From this trip I took away a deeper insight into poetry through the knowledge Dr Zurcher shared with us yet also found it fascinating to hear about current students own experiences at the university. I also learned where to put the apostrophe in Queens’ ( it’s named after 2 Queens: Margaret of Anjou and Elizabeth Woodville!)
Year 11 Geography trip to Pett Level East Sussex
On Thursday and Friday GCSE Geography students travelled to the coast to undertake fieldwork on the management challenges faced at Pett Level and Winchelsea Beach.
The days could not have been more different. Whilst both groups of students collected the same data each day the group on Thursday enjoyed fine Autumn weather and were able to collect data in a measured and accurate fashion.
Friday’s groups battled wind and rain to carry out their measurements with soggy worksheets, uncontrollable tape measures and large waves making analysis of the beach challenging.
They did benefit from seeing the work of waves on the beach sediment and the active erosion of the cliffs.
Both groups worked well to collect good quality data but the groups on Friday must be congratulated on their resilience and determination to persevere despite the conditions. To be honest some found the weather more exiting and thrilling than the easy day we had on Thursday. I am sure they won’t forget the experience in a hurry.
Year 11 History Trip to Whitechapel
We run a number of sport's clubs for students open to all abilities at lunchtime and afterschool. Please check the website for details: https://www.twgsb.org.uk/215/sports-fixtures-practices. As ever, tt has been a busy term as you can see below.
A day of French Conversation and Culture for French A Level Students
When we think of Calais, we tend to think of migrants, the Eurostar and cross Channel ferries. However, our guided tour of the Town Hall – in French of course – revealed Calais’ fascinating history and the work and planning involved in the construction of this quite amazing building. Attached to the Town Hall is the Belfry which is a UNESCO World Heritage Monument. The students study ‘Le Patrimoine’ so this visit is particularly relevant. The Belfry is accessible in a lift and offers panoramic views over the entire city and its surroundings from 78 metres up. After a typical French café lunch, we visited the Musée mémoire 39-45 de Calais. It is opposite the Town Hall and is located in the longest German bunker built, much of the history is specific to the town’s experience of the war. The many propaganda posters are a wonderful way for the students to immerse themselves in the history and language of the time.
Sixth Form Art Trip
On 16th October the 6th form Art students went to The National Gallery & The National Portrait Gallery. The students spent time with a guide looking at how you can analyse meanings in paintings & also spent time conducting independent research for their coursework projects.
Open Evening 2019
Here are a few photos of the students preparing/ready for Open Evening which was on Monday 7th October.
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