Headteacher's End of Term Newsletter - April 2020
Dear Parents, Carers and Students
As the term closes in unprecedented circumstances, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the overwhelming support shown to the school. Running a school remotely is certainly interesting and a steep learning curve for everyone. The students have responded to remote learning exceptionally well and the quality of the work they are producing is super. A huge thank you to the staff who are trying to manage lockdown/self-isolation, home schooling their own children and supporting the supervision of our own Key Worker children. In between all of that they are fulfilling their teacher responsibilities. Please do bear with us if the response is not instantaneous.
The Sixth Form team produced an incredible fundraising effort for Air Ambulance KSS. Over £3000 was raised and some great dance moves demonstrated! This epitomizes the school values and reflects just what a strong community we are. Well done to everyone who got involved and supported.
As I said in my recent letter, Easter will not be ‘normal’ and please do try and have some down-time. We cannot underestimate the emotional rollercoaster that this current set of global circumstances brings. We have been asked as Headteachers to reiterate the message ‘Stay safe, Stay at home’ as in some areas, groups of young people have been meeting. I implore you all to stay at home so that you are safe and we help protect the lives of others.
On that note, to all our families that are working in the NHS or on the frontline in a key worker role: on behalf of the TWGSB community, thank you. You have our support and we commend your courage.
Stay safe, stay at home and protect the NHS.
AMSP Maths Feast 2020
On Thursday 27th February, a team of four Year 10 students (Miguel, Archie, Mihir and Nahian) travelled to Maidstone Girls Grammar School to participate in the Maths Feast event organised by the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme (AMSP). This is a fun educational challenge for Year 10 students which tests problem-solving and teamwork skills. There were four rounds representing a four-course feast: merry-go-round, comprehension, problem-solving and relay. 15 teams from different schools in the region went head to head in a closely fought competition.
Our students gave an amazing account of themselves in all four rounds and ended up winners in round 2. The tremendous attitude, teamwork and mathematical brilliance shown by the team made the entire school proud.
Media Studies Oscars Ceremony
A great night was had by all at the Media Studies Oscars' Awards Night, celebrating Year 11, Year 12 and Year 13 production work. All the students' work was screened and awards were given to celebrate excellence in the department, introduced by our very own CGI designer, Mr Fiveash, Media Technician! The evening was hosted by two House Captains, Rory and Cameron and students from each year group did a fantastic job presenting their peers' work. All enjoyed the red carpet experience and refreshments to raise money for the Senior Prefects' charity - Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex.
Battle of the Bands
At the beginning of March, the Music Department held its annual Battle of the Bands competition. The standard of performance was extremely high, and we were pleased to host a number of bands from other schools in addition to many from TWGSB. Abbey Music (the local music shop) who has been a strong supporter of this event over the years sponsored the evening. The top prize went to Cato Street (from TWGSB) for their fantastic rendition of Killing in the Name, and they were the proud recipients of a £200 voucher to spend at Abbey Music. We would like to thank the large numbers who turned out for the Battle, and we look forward to seeing you again next year for Battle ‘21.
Congratulations to the Year 11 GCSE Drama Students who managed to complete their practical Drama exam before the lockdown. Students performed extracts from plays in pairs or alone and some students made the choice to do 'design' for their exam piece and designed lighting or costume.
Hot House Club [a.k.a Gardening Club] Winter Project - Arid Mini-scapes.
Teams 'Oasis', 'Nuclear Wasteland', and 'The Desert Rats' were each given an empty stone sink and tasked with designing and planting a desert scape using plants that they had raised themselves in the school greenhouse. Various types of sand and stone and bits of driftwood were also utilised. Anyone with an OO gauge camel or kangaroo going spare is invited to donate them to help the teams finish off these excellent designs towards the awaiting prizes. In the meantime the boys have helped automate the greenhouse so that their projects and all their other plants [lettuce, chard, avocados, chillies and pineapples] will be watered in the interim.
Some excellent gardening from all teams over winter.
TODAY. TOMORROW. TOGETHER.
Thanks to the fabulously supportive TWGSB community, the Sixth Form Centre campaign finished the term at just under 70% of our target. Whilst any reception activities are obviously paused for the time being, we have still managed to meet – virtually – with our architects Bond Bryan to keep evolving the building design and ensure that we stay on track with timelines.
We have a virtual Campaign Board meeting just after Easter to review plans and activities, a first for the team but a skill we are all rapidly developing!
At home in lockdown Doris is enjoying having the family around and is getting lots of cuddles and walks!
Pizza Inter-House Competition Challenge
Virtual Fun Run
On Tuesday 31st March the whole school community were invited to join in a fun run event that is normally just for our Sixth Form students. We rebranded the event as a Fun Dance to enable everyone to participate from their own homes or gardens. Ex-Head Student Ed Shamwana helped produce an instructional video to teach us all the dance, and then we all danced along to a video of some Sixth Formers and staff. Participation in the event was fantastic, and the footage was combined into a highly entertaining video that can be viewed on our social media (it has also been emailed to all students). The event normally raises a few hundred pounds for the Head Students’ charity, but this year we are absolutely delighted to announce that we have so far made £3111, and the total continues to rise. The charity this year is Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex.
They have provided this comment:
“We would like to say the biggest and most heartfelt thank you to all the students and staff of Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys for not only taking on the wonderful dance off challenge yesterday but for raising the most amazing amount of money in such a short amount of time. I really cannot express how much this means to all of us here at the charity, especially as we all live through this very difficult time – your support means even more to us now.”
This event highlights the values of the school: Respect for others in the community; Excellence in all that we do and Determination to never give up. We adapted and we improved and above all we shared some joy. We are incredibly proud of everyone who took part be that donating or dancing. A special thank you goes to Mr Fiveash and Mrs Calvert for their work on the videos. Well done TWGSB!
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