Headteacher's Newsletter May 2021
Dear Parents, Carers and Students
It seems to have been a very short half-term or perhaps just an exceptionally busy one. Much time and effort has been directed to ensuring a fair and robust process of centre assessed grades, which as you know replace formal exams for Years 11, 12 and 13. This process is not over yet and I would like to thank the staff for working so incredibly hard.
It has been great to see our new facilities being utilised fully and the students enjoying learning in this purpose-built environment. As a school we are committed to providing the best facilities we can, so the programme of transformation continues.
The demolition of the Sixth Form building and ‘New Block' is well underway. The removal of the roof caused much excitement during a lunch time as the students cheered from the playground! Getting to the demolition stage is a massive achievement. We still have work to do on closing the final fundraising amount but we cannot wait to watch the building go up and ultimately have a tremendous study space for our Sixth form.
Last Friday was the final day for Years 11 and 13; it is always one of mixed emotion. We are so overwhelmingly proud of our students, as they have grown into amazing young men and women. The level of resilience shown in the past 18 months has been remarkable and we are exceptionally proud of each and every one of them. Whatever their future plans, we know that they have the skills, resilience and values to succeed.
As restrictions continue to be lifted we are able to return to some of our more normal activities. Clubs are back up and running in a number of curriculum areas, and music and sport are flourishing. Year 7 have enjoyed the opportunity to partake in Bikeability and the Sixth Form prefect team are busy finalising their prom. Fingers crossed that further restrictions will be lifted on the 21st June.
We hope that half-term enjoys an improvement in the weather as some warmer sunny days are definitely needed. Thank you for your continued support, wishing you all a lovely half-term.
TODAY. TOMORROW. TOGETHER.
Sixth Form Centre campaign
Accompanied by a hearty cheer from the playground, demolition of our old Sixth Form building and the ironically named 'New Block' began this term.
As expected, they have come down pretty easily and Chair of Governors, Philip Drew, enjoyed a visit to supervise proceedings (don't worry, all H&S protocols were followed for our staged digger shot!). We hope to invite you to school in June to see the changes and hear about our forthcoming plans.
We bade farewell to Year 13 on Friday 21st May, a sad day for us all but surprisingly cheerful for our students, who skipped out the door with never a backward glance! They are a wonderful year group who have shown themselves to be academically able, resilient and supportive of the school and of each other. We are so proud of the way they have dealt with two lockdowns, a global pandemic and a gruelling assessment schedule.
We had a joyful Leavers' Assembly which began with a special continental breakfast. A warm appreciation of all their efforts from Ms Simpson was followed by excellent live music from Paloma and Billy, and a rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody from Year 13 English Literature students. Tutors gave warm-hearted tributes to their groups, which were very well received. Each form group had also produced a hilarious video to share. For many, the highlight was a montage of photographs from the last seven years, charting the students' progress from bright-eyed Year 7s to fully formed adults. Best of all, perhaps, was a special effects tribute to all students produced by Mr Fiveash.
It has been both an honour and an enormous pleasure to lead this very special group of students through a highly turbulent Sixth Form experience, I will always remember their grit, determination and good humour. We all wish them all the success they so richly deserve. See you on Results Day August 10th. Mrs Corp
Despite studying for their exams and making preparations for their future, our Sixth Formers also managed to complete their year of fundraising for YoungMinds. In April they held a fancy dress Fun Run, where the costumes were fantastic, smiles were on everyone's faces and the weather was kind.
This was followed by a recent whole school 'Own Clothes Day', which brought the amount raised to an amazing total of over £7,500 for the teenage mental health charity, YoungMinds. Thank you to everyone who contributed. Charlie and Abbie, our Head Students, met with YoungMinds virtually to tell them about the fantastic achievement for their important cause.
YEAR 11 LEAVERS
Let us not forget the wonderful Year 11 students who are transitioning into Sixth Form and had the opportunity to celebrate the end of their GCSE studies last week. The boys enjoyed a Leavers' Assembly led by Ms Fernandez and Mr Hart, followed by a Celebration Day with BBQ, ice cream van (courtesy of the PTA) and inflatables in the Sports Centre. We hope they enjoy their long summer break and look forward to seeing them later this year.
DUKE OF EDINBURGH AWARD
Year 10 excel on their practice expedition
Some students from Year 10 completed their Practice Weekend on the 22nd/23rd May. Despite wet and windy conditions students bravely ventured forth on foot over the two days – walking for six hours each day after plotting their own routes. Although students were not able to camp overnight, they did pitch their tents and cook meals. Their approach to the challenge was commendable and they all managed a smile at the end despite sore feet. We wish them all the best for their Assessed Expedition on the weekend of 10/11th July. Mrs Fedrick
We have our first platinum badge recipient! Well done to Jonathan in 7C for his hard work to reach this stage. It is great to see the other levels coming up too, particularly the gold badge awards. In the time since the scheme started in September 2020, staff have awarded over 100,000 positive points for the categories of Respect, Excellence and Determination.
Parents still have time to complete the survey on the school's provision for Mental Health and Emotional Well-being. Please take a look at this recorded presentation, which explains exactly what the award is and why we are doing it. We want to change the ethos of the school to reflect the fact that the well-being of every student, staff member and parent is at the heart of what we do. We are at the start of what will be a long journey, so your feedback is important in order to make this happen. Mrs Rose
Evaluation submissions are valid until 31/05/2021.
Your submission will not be accepted outside of these dates
Click on the survey highlighted above or copy and paste the following:https://app.awardplace.co.uk/stakeholder-evaluations/user-survey/609e469f5e152
The Art Department encouraged our students (aged up to 14) to take part in the Royal Mail Heroes Stamp Design Competition this term. The competition intends to find eight stamps designed by school-age children and featuring their pandemic hero or heroes. A special panel of judges will pick the winning designs and the final eight stamps will be sent to Her Majesty The Queen before they can be printed and issued. The fabulous entries can be seen on our Art Department gallery page, but a few are highlighted below.
The A Level Year 12 Graphics group have been making architectural models and cases to frame them and from the looks of it we have some budding architects out there. Prepare for house envy!
Great work from Euan A (12B), Andrew S (12E), Rory W (12A), Ed J (12D) and Felix L (12E).
As part of the National Theatre 'Connections' programme and through the Trinity Youth Theatre, three of our students have taken part in performing, animation and editing of a film exploring teenage mental health. 'The It' is freely available for the next few weeks as part of the Marlowe Theatre Digital Festival and is appropriate for Year 9 students and above to watch. Commendation must go to Ethan T (Year 9), Anton B and George J (Year 10) for their hard work in creating this powerful film.
In order to say goodbye and thank you to their teachers, the Year 11 GCSE Food and Nutrition students recently cooked a tasty lunch for them. They produced a chicken and a vegetable curry, freshly baked naans, samosas, bhajis and raita. They did really well, and the staff loved it, well done Year 11s. Mrs Smith
Modern Foreign Languages
Madame Moreau hosted a cultural experience for the last class of A Level French Year 13 students. They made 'une tarte fine aux pommes' the Bretagne way – with salted butter – following all instructions in French and finishing with a French crossword, using phrases such as 'saupoudrer du sucre et de la canelle' (sprinkle sugar and cinnamon) and 'badigeonner avec le beurre' (brush or paint with the butter).
The final results looked very authentic and we hope that at least a slice managed to make it home to be shared with parents. Bon appetit!
On the cultural culinary theme, the Year 13 Spanish class tucked into a tapas lunch with some students preparing home-made tortilla and patatas bravas.
French movie club was launched by the MFL department this term. It takes place in the languages corridor on Fridays during first lunch break. Students in Year 9 have had the pleasure of attending these sessions every week in their number (32 students maximum). You can see them here enjoying Astérix et Obélix Mission Cléopatre.
'The movie club is good for the development of the language skills as it tones in my ears for the pronunciation of French words. I would definitely recommend it!' Tom H 9D
'French movie club is very helpful with becoming more fluent in French conversation and is enjoyable in general.' Ben C 9D
The Year 13 football tournament
Following a turbulent and challenging year, our Year 13 leavers organised a final footballing swansong on the 3G pitch. Senior House captain Harry Cooke lead the group of students from all four houses through four weeks of competition, culminating in a finals day. A closely fought final was won by Scotney, following a Fred Evans goal in the closing few minutes of the match. The competition was played in great spirit and was a celebration of seven years of PE and sport at TWGSB. Well done to all the students involved and good luck for your future endeavours. Mr Millar
Alternative Sports at TWGSB
We have added new sports to the curriculum this term. Years 7, 8 and 9 have had their first handball lessons in the fantastic new Sports Hall and Years 7 and 8 have also experienced Ultimate Frisbee lessons. The students have taken to the new sports brilliantly, with confidence growing in both activities. There is the potential to add these sports to an co-curricular plan and enter tournaments next academic year, which many of the students have expressed an interest in already. Mr Boddy
Film Makers Club started this term and offers our own budding Spielbergs and Edgar Wrights a chance to develop film making skills. They learnt about shot composition and construction by filming and editing a sequence called ‘The Breakfast’. Next term we will move on to recreating some epic film moments before they start planning and production for their own short film. Mrs Calvert
Music clubs have been very popular since their return. Students have been trying new instruments and showing off their skills in Y7 Music Club. Others have been honing their guitar and rock band skills at Guitar Club and Grammar School For Noise. Finally, the vocal group, led by Miss Kind, has been oversubscribed. Mr Joris
For the green-fingered student, hot house gardening has resumed on a Thursday and staff are pretty pleased, as we have been able to buy spider plants and geraniums grown in the hothouse. For a full list of clubs and clinics have a look here.
Bikeability visited school to provide a day of training for interested Year 7 students. Our cyclists started on the playground, gaining practical skills and performing the manoeuvres which are so important for cycle and road safety, before heading out onto local roads to reinforce their learning
In an attempt to make lost property more visible to the students, we have set up a number of containers outside Student Services for boys to check in their breaks. You will see from below that a number of shoes and trainers have already accumulated, so please ask your child to check before the end of the summer term (when anything unnamed will be passed to charity). All named items will be returned to their owner, so please make sure ALL items of uniform are marked.
A SPECIAL GOODBYE
We are sadly saying goodbye to Maureen, our Reprographics Assistant, after 24 years at TWGSB. Maureen started her journey as a temporary Science Technician and then moved on to the world of reprographics. We thank her for all she has done, wish her well in her retirement and hope she gets to enjoy a lovely summer!
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