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Posted on: 25/05/2021

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.

Yours faithfully

Amanda Simpson

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.

 MG 3153

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.

Sixth Form demo P Drew press

 

SIXTH FORM

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.

Y13 assembly seated

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. 

Paloma and BillyY13 assembly 1

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 10thMrs 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. 

Fun run combo

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.

May 2021 Young Minds handover fundraiser

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. 

May 2021 Y11 last day compo

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

DOe COMBO

POSITIVE PATHWAYS

May 2021 positive pathways

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.

WELL-BEING

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

ART

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.

MAY 2021stamp competition

 

DESIGN TECHNOLOGY

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!  

May 2021 Graphics Y12 comboMay 2021 Graphics Y12 combo 2

Great work from Euan A (12B), Andrew S (12E), Rory W (12A), Ed J (12D) and Felix L (12E). 

DRAMA

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. 

 

FOOD TECHNOLOGY

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

May 2021 Y11 staff lunch

 

Modern Foreign Languages

May 2021 MFL stars Spanish

May 2021 MFL stars French

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).

May 2021 Y13 French A level

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!

May 2021 Y13 French cultural combo

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.

May 2021 Y13 tapa lunch

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.

May 2021 MFL French movie lesson

'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 

PE

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

CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

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

May 2021 filmmakers

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

May 2021 music club combo

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. 

Hot house gardening

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

May 20201 bikeability

HOUSEKEEPING

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.

May 2021 lost property May 2021 lost property 2

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!

Maureen