Headteacher's End of Term Newsletter - February 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
Working with young people is a real privilege and, as parents, you will understand that at times it can also be challenging. One of the joys of teaching is watching our students grow from year 7 into the well-rounded, articulate and socially aware young men they are by year 13. We watch them engage in different projects and get involved in a wide range of opportunities.
The senior prefect team are continuing to raise money for the Kent Air ambulance, a charity that has personally touched the year group and to whom they wish to give back. Other students are busy raising funds for Ecuador in aid of Vida Selva, an indigenous people’s project in the Amazon to help support local people develop an income other than through deforestation. We we will be doing further work with the project during our trip to Ecuador in 2021. We are very proud of the ways our students support both local and global charities.
One young man who stands out for his initiative and drive to help others is Ollie Parrett in 8F. Having watched the catastrophic bushfires in Australia, Ollie felt compelled to try and help. As a keen scout, he looked to make contact with scouts and their families in Australia who have been affected by the fires. He contacted the Deputy Commissioner in NSW and set about a social media campaign to raise £500 to help those families. An incredible gesture, Ollie, and you are to be commended on truly role modelling the school values of Respect, Excellence and Determination. You can see Ollie’s campaign here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/scoutollie
If you have been onsite recently you will have noticed that the new teaching block is rapidly appearing. This week we met with the architect to look at the finishes of the building. It will hopefully look amazing when complete and the new food technology suite looks (on paper) truly incredible. The ground works and concrete for the sports hall are nearly complete and the steel frame is the next component to be built. Once again, thank you for your patience whilst these works take place.
We have now instructed architects and a planning consultant for our 6th form campaign. The intention is to submit planning in the spring. The board are working incredibly hard and we would like to thank all of the volunteers and families that have given. It is you that are making this happen. If you have not yet had the opportunity to join one of our receptions, please contact Lindsey Marden, our Campaign Manager, for more details.
This term we have seen some fantastic learning from all year groups. Year 13 have just completed mock exams and, along with year 11, are now focused on their forthcoming public exams. University offers have flooded in with more Russell Group offers than ever before. As a school we are very proud to announce that five students have been offered places at Oxford and Cambridge - an achievement that cannot be underestimated.
To our student body, we just want to remind you how amazing you are! Thank you for making TWGSB the school it is.
Have a restful half term.
Amanda Simpson, Headteacher
As a school we have signed up to a jointly run operation between Kent Police and our school, which is known as Operation Encompass.
Safeguarding our students and staff is always a key priority at TWGSB. Operation Encompass has been set up to help schools to provide support to students who have been present, exposed to or involved in any domestic abuse or violence incident. Key staff at the school have been trained to allow them to use any information that may be shared in confidence. Training will also ensure that the school can make provision for the right support to be available for any affected student and their family.
UKMT Intermediate Maths Challenge
On Thursday 6th February, 60 Year 10 Mathematicians took part into the national Intermediate Maths Challenge.
Results will be announced by the UK Mathematics Trust after half term, and some pupils might be invited to follow-up rounds.
Doris has been very busy this term: as well as spending time in lessons and inclusion she has been going to Southborough Primary School once a week to work with some students there. The students absolutely love her and she is exhausted when she gets back. After half term she is also going to spend one additional afternoon a week there as a reading dog. Good Luck Doris.
GCSE Art Trip to the Tate Modern
On Tues 28th January our GCSE Art students visited the Tate Modern. Year 10 students took part in an artist lead workshop; culminating in a performance piece in the Turbine Hall. They also completed research for their coursework project. The Year 11 artists spent the day drawing, photographing and researching for their exam project. A successful day was had by all!
Sixth Form Centre update
The last six receptions presenting our vitally important Sixth Form Centre campaign, have been a great success and we have been pleased to share news about the project with parents.
The final reception will take place on Thursday, 12th March at 7pm in the Drama Studio, so if you would like to find out about our progress and hear how you can get involved, please email the Campaign Office on firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your attendance.
We are at 60% of our target fundraising figure, so fabulous progress is being made!
Oxbridge Trip – 2020
Thursday 16th January: We gathered at the bus early. As you can expect from a group of 16 and 17 year olds – even Oxbridge hopefuls – there were some latecomers. Our voyage up to Cambridge was amiable and 30 of TWGSB’s best, including yours truly, were excited but strangely nervous.
At Cambridge, we clambered off the coach and piled into the main entrance of Queens’ College. Once taken into a surprisingly modern lecture hall, our outreach officer, Ms Maria McElroy talked us through admissions, facilities and fundamentals of the college and the University overall; then we separated into groups of roughly 10, and were shown around the college campus by students. The tours completed, we reconvened in their ancient hall for lunch, a contemporary take on the dining hall at Hogwarts. After an attractive salmon pasta, I and the rest of my peers headed off to the coach.
Although the weather was consistently dreadful, we entertained ourselves in the hostel that evening. We reached Oxford and our overnight hostel, it was humble but suitable. We were meant to go out for a walking tour after dinner, but we had our fellow intellectuals to joke around with, we participated in a rowdy but civilised quiz. My team are still livid there was no sports round but what can you expect from would-be intellectuals?
Friday 17th January: We dragged ourselves out of bed early for some time to walk around Oxford independently. My friends and I toured the pristine university parks and walked past some of the colleges and then we returned promptly for a lift to St Hugh’s College – everyone made it to the coach on time, apart from Ms Corp who we can only assume got lost.
Whilst tiptoeing round the grounds of St Hugh’s (they were doing some exams) we were directed to a lecture hall where we were hosted by Ms Elena Sorochina (Outreach Officer) and then we were allocated to some students who showed us around campus. Our lunch was as lovely as the day before and their ancient dining hall was similarly impressive. After a photo in the gardens and thanks given to our guides, we clambered into the coach for a tediously long journey back to school.
Despite the long journeys and miserable British weather, I know every student felt more motivated and inclined to work harder and to throw themselves into their Sixth Form work in the future, with a view to an aspirational application next October. Thank you from us all.
Fred Evans, Year 12
Visiting a Peruvian restaurant and Cervantes Theatre in London
As every year, Year 12 and 13 groups studying Spanish, have the opportunity to watch the play 'La Casa de Bernarda Alba' which is studied during Year 13.
However this year, they also went to the Peruvian restaurant 'Sabor Peruano' near to the theatre. All pupils had the chance to taste some Peruvian dishes such as 'Ceviche', 'Seco de Pollo', 'Aji de Gallina' and others. They also tried the famous soft drink Inca Cola.
Latin American and Spanish gastronomy topic is studied during year 12.
A booklist of 35 titles has been made available in public libraries across England. The titles provide 13 to 18 year-olds with support and advice on common mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety and stress. The books, which include self-help, psycho-education, memoirs, graphic novels and fiction, have all been chosen by young people and health professionals. Use the link below for further information.
The newly appointed Student Council Reps are:
- Year 7: Arron Pattni and Russell Agyemang
- Year 8: Charlie Robinson and Morgan Coyston
- Year 9: Asher Higham and Ben Wildman
- Year 10 Danny Buller and Harry Sinclair
In year 11 Sinaan Bilinger and Cameron Jones remain School Council reps. The Sixth form are represented by the Head Boy and Girl and the Deputy Head Boys
Our next event, Battle of the Bands, is Wednesdsay 4th March. Last year a number of excellent bands took part and left with some great prizes. This year we have a number of external bands and judges confirmed and look forward to an intense sense of competition as the battle for honour – and a top prize of £200 – takes place.
In other news, we have had an acrylic sign of our new logo made and look forward to this being installed in the department at half term. The catch phrase ‘Make Music Make Waves’ encapsulates our vision to encourage our students to consider the power of music to make a difference to individuals and to society.
The TWGSB Media Studies' Oscars Awards Ceremony 2020
Thursday 27 February, 7.00pm (ceremony 7.30-8.30pm)
Friends, parents and carers of Y11, 12 & 13 Media Students very welcome - £3 per ticket. Media students entry is free
Awards will be given to students in each year group, as well as a showcase of work produced throughout the year.
Dress code is smart (theme is vintage Hollywood glamour)
Here is a few photo of the building progress. It's taking shape!
Knole House wins the Year 7 inter-house rugby competition
TWGSB year 10 pathways to open new opportunities for students
From the start of the spring term Year 10 boys have been involved in a pilot to adapt the curriculum, in a range of new sports and activities. This new trial plan has opened up a greater understanding of sports and activities that Year 10 students can participate in.
So far three sections of the new plan: outdoor games, indoor games and fitness for life.
Outdoor games consists of three sports: rugby, Gaelic football and American football. Students have loved the introduction of this plan and have really enjoyed opportunity to play a new sport. The introduction of Gaelic football has given GCSE students a trial of a sport they can choose for the team section of their practical assessments and many have liked the intensity of the game.
Indoor games also consists of three highly interesting and new sports: volleyball, dodge ball and handball. Many students who participate in these sports have extremely enjoyed them. The high-intensity games like handball and dodgeball have been thoroughly rewarding for the students that have played them. Handball and volleyball are examples of team or individual sports GCSE PE students can choose for their sports assessments.
Fitness for life has been an absolute success and exciting experience for the boys that have taken part in this experience. A mixture of cardiovascular and resistance training have been extremely enjoyed by the Year 10 boys. Circuit training and fitness tests have also been introduced. The skills taken on board during these lessons have encouraged students to become more active and exercise outside of school. Many students have taken up running, gym classes and even taken out gym memberships to try and become more active.
Overall, the boys in Year 10 have responded superbly, the trial sessions throughout the three categories have been a success. Many boys have shown that they are really enjoying these lessons, and have portrayed their interest in new sports, they believe this is the right way forward.
Below are the architectural facades that our Year 12 Graphics A Level group have been creating as part of their course. I think you will agree that they are amazing.
William Holm Mercer
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