Headteacher's End of Term Newsletter - July 2020
Dear parents, carers and students
As I write this on the last day of the academic year, it is a moment to consider what a rollercoaster of a year it has been.
Overwhelmingly I wish to convey just how proud I am of the students and staff. Their collective and individual response to the pandemic has been outstanding. Everyone has worked tirelessly no matter what the challenge and, undoubtedly, a summer break is much needed.
To all of our parents and carers, a huge thank you for all the home schooling that has taken place. We appreciate that this will have been challenging at times and we are grateful for your efforts. The kind messages of support received from our community have really helped get us through this. Thank you for taking the time to send them in- each and everyone one has been shared with the staff.
It would be easy to get completely side-tracked with lockdown, however, other key developments in school have continued, most notably the new school buildings. Although delayed, they continue to progress and handover is now pencilled in for late December. Having had the opportunity to walk around the currently partially finished teaching block, as a facility it will be incredible and we cannot wait to utilise it and show everyone round.
You will also be aware of the school’s intention to increase its admission number in September 2021 with a satellite annex in Sevenoaks. In addition to the new facilities on the main site, this investment in the school is around £24 million pounds. Linked with our fundraising efforts to build a much needed Sixth form centre this really will culminate in a school with superb facilities and an environment that truly supports all round excellence. These really are exciting times for the school.
During this pandemic there have also been other significant global events, such as the Black Lives Matter movement. We were impressed with a letter we received from current and alumni students on this very issue and are rightly proud of our students using their voices for positive change. Please read the letter as we have shared this with you in this newsletter. As a school, we will continue to do all we can in ensuring equality and challenging all aspects of racism and prejudice. We will embrace the suggestions in the letter and keep you informed of the changes we are making.
We started this lockdown phase with the 6th form leading the charge with a charity dance and raising thousands of pounds for the Air Ambulance. We have been open all the way through for our key worker students, delivered some face to face support for our year 10 and 12 students and responded to government guidance with a robust plan for the September return.
I am sure as we all reflect on the new skills we have had to learn during this period we can all be proud of what has been achieved. Now more than ever it is important to have some downtime, away from screens, to treat the summer break as normally as possible and to look forward to all being back together as a true community in September.
So, please enjoy the break, rest and make new memories. We cannot wait to see you all in September. Stay safe.
With best wishes from everyone at TWGSB
Amanda Simpson, Headteacher
We have a number of wellbeing resources on the school website if you need any guidance or support.
Building works continue
Year 10 Philosophy GCSE Short Course Certificate
This year the TWGSB Religion and Philosophy Department saw the introduction of the new Philosophy GCSE Short Course Certificate. In spite of such great adversity all of our pioneering Year 10 Religion and Philosophy students managed their work independently and successfully submitted their thoughtful, insightful and creative projects in time for them to be moderated NCH London University.
These projects included such varied titles such as:
- Is gender fixed or fluid?
- What is Art?
- Is there life after death?
- Do we have freewill?
- Does God exist?
- Is it OK to lie?
- Should we experiment on animals?
- What is happiness?
- What is a good life?
The feedback from the moderator was:
An enjoyable collection of essays on a range of properly philosophical questions. All candidates have clearly engaged with the research task and are able to think philosophically.
GCSE Drama Monologues
I am so proud of my Year 10 Drama group who have learnt or copied the style of the monologue ‘A Tale of Two Mindsets’ from @ProbablyTomfoolery for their AP3 assessment. Have a listen.
Mrs Merricks' roll of honnor
Here are shout-outs for excellent effort and attainment for my groups in history & politics
Year 10: Ziad AlNaib, Charlie Mayo & Adam Delves scored 100% on this weeks’quiz. Orhan Erisir, Marshall Mack, Kai Orr, Finlay Moore, William Grinsted, Archie Dowler, Gabe Brooks, Leon Oak and Freddy Willoughby scored 90%. Excellent notes from Isaac Coysten and Alex Hamza-Goodacre.
Year 12 History: Huge congratulations to Jamie Austin, Emilia Barker, Edwin Brett, Will Lees, Tristan May Smith & Nick Peters for scoring 100% on their test. And fantastic achievement to Edward Jennings and Angus Kottler who scored solid A grades for both unit assessments.
Year 12 Politics: Congratulations to Lily Erye for scoring 100% on her test and to Klara Waring at 90% and Jamie Austin and Ollie Barnwell for 95%.
Year 10 Media students who achieved highly on the AP3 assessments:
- Miguel Mellinger (full marks in both tests)
- Henry Jones
- Archie Fisher
- Phoenix Gamage
Year 12 Media achieving highly:
- Charlie Carey
- Molly Crocombe
- Billy Bond
- Mike Cutler-Methven
Bake-offs and GCSE work - Food and Nutrition
The fourth Inter-house bake-off challenge was to make a decorated cake.
George Newman (10E) Overall winner for his grandma’s favourite fruit cake with homemade pistachio marzipan.
Daniel Leppard (8D) for his amazing rich chocolate cake topped with Maltesers and Twirls.
Daniel Clayton (10A) for the beautiful cake, topped with handmade icing flowers for his Grandad.
Ewan Horne (8A) for his pistachio and red velvet cake topped with freeze-dried raspberries.
Morgan Green (8F) for the Horlicks, chocolate, and Maltesers cake he made for his Grandmother.
Well, the last challenge photos are in and I'm sure you will agree that the celebration dessert entries are outstanding. I will miss getting to see all the students' creations while the school has been closed and it's been a pleasure to judge. The only downside is that I didn't get to taste some of them!
Celebration dessert joint winners: Ewan Horne (8A) for his chocolate profiterole layer cake and Ravi Chadna (7E) for his summer berry cheesecake and cake pops.
Runners-up: Henry Wood (8C) for his fruity fantasy cake and Karim Odeh Witney (7C) for his homemade honeycomb dessert.
Bread rolls, overall winner Ravi Chadna 7E and runners up Harry and George Handcock 7G and 8G, Jamie McDonald 10G, Tom Hubbard 8C and Henry Wood 8C.
Keep cooking everyone and stay safe
The work below has been randomly picked from the page linked above. Please do click on the link, there is some amazing work to be seen.
GCSE course begins for Year 9
MFL (French): Year 7 students have been learning how to order food in restaurants. This week, one of the activities we asked them to do was to sing a song and record it. This year 7 student was supported by his elder brother and they have agreed for us to share it with you. We thoroughly enjoyed it, we hope you do too.
MFL Stars of the Month (May, June, July)
Year 11 Transition Day
It was great to welcome back, albeit virtually, Year 11 to their Transition Day and welcome new applicants to the school too. The students had the opportunity to use our new careers programme Unifrog as well as speak to the Sixth Form team and download transition work to prepare them for the transition to A Level courses. Our newly appointed Senior Prefect teams also put together a video for them about Sixth Form life and studying A Levels and our Senior Wellbeing Ambassador Prefect team will be working on a programme to support new students joining our Sixth Form.
A Level Studies at TWGSB - hear from the students!
It was heart-warming to welcome Year 12 students back to school for their subject days. It was a real treat for subject teachers to meet their students in person, if distanced, and catch up on the course content and on news. The Careers Day on June 1st has set the students up for some pretty exciting life plans. All students are registered on UCAS and our new central resource UNIFROG. Plenty of aspirational plans for life after school in progress, whether University, employment or Apprenticeships. Personal Statements are developing and it is an honour to read of achievements , hopes and ambitions. Year 12, I salute your courage, resilience and determination in facing the challenges of life in lockdown, your commitment is awe-inspiring. We are encouraging all of Year 12 to take a break, get some exercise, fresh air and see friends, they all need to be match fit for the new school year. Enjoy the summer !
It was an absolute delight to see the majority of our Year 13s (at a safe distance!) when they came into school this week to collect their Yearbooks and hoodies. We are so proud of how they have adapted to their circumstances and the contributions that so many of them have made to society over the last few months. They appear to have fitted in a lot of sleeping, but have also been working hard in key worker positions as delivery drivers and in supermarkets, shops and the service industries. Some have tried their hand at fruit picking, others have set up their own businesses, one has written a book that is available to buy on Amazon, a few have been creating online resources to help future students. They have developed new talents including DIY, decorating, knitting, gardening and cooking and several have been expanding their knowledge academically with online courses.
A special thank you must go to our Head Girl, Hannah Sexton who coordinated the production and distribution of the Yearbooks and Hoodies, she has left her peers with two fantastic products that will serve as an excellent memory of their time at school.
I would also like to announce the fantastic amount of money that our Year 13 Student Leadership team and their peers have raised for the Head Students' charities (Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance plus Kings College Hospital). They have made £6336 through the various events that they have organised including own clothes days, cake sales, a tuck shop, a Christmas charity video, sponsored sporting activities and our whole school Fun Dance!
Whilst we may not physically see Year 13 on results day we will be at the end of the phone ready to support any who need our help, but are very confident that the majority of the year group are going to be achieving their places at their chosen universities. We cannot wait to see them all again properly at our postponed prom and until then we wish them the very best as they embark on the next, exciting stage of their lives.
TWGSB Virtual Sports Day 2020
Congratulations to all of you who have taken part in the TWGSB virtual sports day 2020. I’ve been really impressed with the pictures showing your creativity and the results that you have uploaded onto the Microsoft form. A big thank you to the house captains who are supporting the competition and especially to William Baker who is currently putting together the results from the two days. The results will be sent out via Satchel One along with a video story of all of your pictures. If you finished in first, second or third place in one of the events you will receive a certificate when we return to school in September. So please be patient and wait and see who is crowned this year’s sports day champions.
Have an enjoyable and restful summer and we look forward to seeing you back in September raring to go in physical Education. More photos below. Thank you.
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