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Posted on: 27/05/2022

Headteacher's Newsletter May 2022

Dear Parents, Carers and Students

We are well and truly in exam season with internal assessments and public exams taking place. We never underestimate the gravity of our young people walking into that exam hall. There is always a mixture of emotional responses from the students, but what is clear this year particularly is that the enormity of there not having been any external examinations for two years is clear to see on their faces. 

Thus far Year 11 and 13 have taken this in their stride. They have worked hard towards this moment and are endeavouring to do their very best. As a school we are really proud of them and appreciate it is a hugely pressured time at home as you all try and manage teenage emotions. A big thank you for all the support you give them. 

The final day in school for both year groups is always one that they highly anticipate.  Celebration assemblies took them back down memory lane to the start of their TWGSB journey. The Year 11 students enjoyed a BBQ and the full range of inflatable games while Year 13 attended their prom at Salomons and I have to say they looked absolutely fabulous in all their finery. It was a great send-off before their exams started.   

As you will see from the rest of the newsletter, there has been much fun and enrichment activities happening across the school this term: the Sixth Form fun run, book awards, the Bikeability course and, as always, a plethora of sporting fixtures with county and national success this term for two of our football teams. Congratulations to all involved! 

At the Sevenoaks campus, outside works for the 3G and multi-use games area are progressing at pace. This will provide a much-needed and great addition to our facilities. The contractors are confident of an October handover. 

We are once again hugely grateful to all of you who took the time to complete the parental surveys. As before, we will feed back on the main themes and endeavour to improve any areas that have been raised. We really value your contribution so thank you for doing this. 

Wishing you all a restful half term.  

Yours faithfully 

Amanda Simpson 

 

Positive Pathways

Positive pathways May 2022

Students continue to make great progress gaining positive house points. The total number of students who have reached each boundary can be seen. Positive points are awarded across all key stages for embodying our school values of Respect, Excellence and Determination, and for being Star of the Lesson. Huge congratulations to all students for their achievements. 

Sixth Form

Sixth Form Fun Run: All Year 12 and 13 students took part, with great gusto, in a fancy dress ‘Fun Run’ on the school playing fields on Tuesday 3rd May to raise funds for the YOUNG MINDS charity. Great fun was had by all and the event acted as an ideal stress buster before the big push to A Levels. There were some memorable costumes including a shiver of sharks, a band of angels and a platoon of Spartans, to name but a few. Thanks go to the PE Dept, particularly Mr Millar, for their support with the event and to all those who donated on the day. The students raised over £350.

Sixth form fun run

Year 13 Leavers: Year 13 Staff and students enjoyed a wonderful Year 13 Leavers' Assembly on Wednesday 11th May with live music from Luca and Elliot. We all danced and sang with great vim and brio, an especially tuneful 'Bohemian Rhapsody' was a particular highlight. Tutors gave a spirited rendition of 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt' to tumultuous applause! Each tutor then extolled the virtues of their group to even louder applause. The Head Students, Alex and Patsy, gave a heartfelt thanks to their teachers and peers and their Deputies in particular. Yuvaraj and Evan received well-deserved praise for organising the Year Book and Hoodies. Miss Merricks praised the students for their passion and determination. Ms Simpson praised the students for their courage and resilience during the pandemic and urged them to feel proud of themselves and their achievements. We all enjoyed the Year 13 leavers video

We all wish Year 13 students all the luck and success they deserve in the exam season. It has been an absolute joy to lead these students in their final year of school, an outstanding year group in every way. We hope they stay in touch and join the alumni association (Home | TWGSB Connect). 

Year 13 Prom: Year 13 students had a wonderful night to remember at the glorious Salomons Estate. The weather was kind and the students were able to have their welcome drink on the magnificent terrace overlooking the grounds, which offered wonderful photo opportunities. All the students looked elegant in their tuxedos and evening gowns; the colours were magnificent, quite the catwalk event.

We enjoyed a three-course meal in lovely surroundings with additional decor provided by Hannah, student organiser of the event. This was followed by a lively disco and sing-along session, while the novelty photo booth provided much hilarity. The group also raised £150 for the BEATS charity helping those with eating disorders. The evening was a truly wonderful end to the Year 13s' TWGSB6 experience. After enduring lockdown over the last two years the young folk (and staff) made the most of the occasion, determined to make memories to savour for many years to come. Thanks to the students and staff who made this event so special. Mrs Corp

Prom composite 1

Prom composite 2

There are many more photos from the prom, which will soon be available on the alumni site (link above).

There are many more photos from the prom, which will soon be available on the alumni site (link above).

 

Year 11 Leavers BBQ

Year 11 have made an excellent start to their GCSE public examinations this term and we are very proud of them. The students made the most of their last week of lessons and took part in an extended school day to 'smash the core' and focus on Maths, English and Science. We ended the week with a Class of 2022 Celebration Day. This started with an assembly, with music provided by some of our incredibly talented Year 11 musicians, and a special guest appearance from our very own Mr Joris on saxophone! We shared best wishes messages from their teachers and a music video of staff and students celebrating their 'freedom'. Finally, students enjoyed a montage of photographs of their year group across their five-year journey here at TWGSB, which you can see here. We then headed down to the field for a BBQ served by staff, along with inflatables and an ice-cream van, kindly provided by the PTA for our Year 11 students.

We are very proud of Year 11 considering the journey that they have been on over the last few years. They are a talented group of young people and we look forward to celebrating their successes with them on Results Day in August. Mrs Fernandez

Year 11 celebration event 1

Year 11 celebration event 2

Well-being

On Wednesday 11th May we teamed up with The Judd School and The Skinners' School to hold an information evening for parents at The Judd on mental health and how we can support our young people. We are planning on hosting more of these events in collaboration with the other two schools. The next one will take place in September and we would love to hear from our parents on what sort of issues you would like these information evenings to cover. If you have any thoughts then please email me at srose@twgsboys.kent.sch.uk. Mrs Rose

Design Technology 

Mechanical toys

Architectural models

Above are architectural models made by the Year 12s: Ollie (top left), George (top right), Archie (bottom left) and Theo (bottom right). Mr Stevens

Geography & Geology

Year 10/11 Geology residential trip to Dorset

April saw the much welcomed return of the Geology residential field trip to the PGL centre at Osmington near Weymouth in Dorset. Since Year 11 had missed out last year and some practical skills were lacking as a result, the trip was combined with the current Year 10s before Year 11 left to go on study leave. This turned out to be a very good combination with the two year groups getting to know each other and getting on well on the trip. Year 11 were pleased to support the Year 10s with their knowledge of the subject. We visited the Isle of Portland, Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove over the weekend to observe and record the Geology in detail and to make sense of the sequence of formation and folding. We spent the last morning of the beach at Osmington Bay fossil hunting before returning to school.

Geology composite

Year 8 Geography trip to Eastbourne

All of Year 8 have been on the Geography trip to Eastbourne this week to support the learning in lessons on coastal processes and landforms. 8A and 8D showed great resilience on Monday battling through the heavy rain, collecting data and sheltering under our makeshift lean-to to fill out their soggy sheets. Tuesday was fine and Wednesday cold and windy. We should perhaps be studying British weather!

The students collected data at the far western and eastern ends of Eastbourne seafront to investigate the changes in beach size and material caused as material is transported by the waves towards the east. We will follow up this with a full write-up of the results next term. The students were a credit to the school and we received positive comments on their behaviour from a number of people which was very pleasing. Mr Ash   

Yr 8 geog composite

Music

A grand piano was delivered to the Sevenoaks campus this week, much to the delight of Mr Podesta and the students. We look forward to amazing performances in the near future.

Piano composite final

PE

Football

Year 8 U13B football team wins the National Cup!

Final score: Wright Robinson 1-1 TWGSB; TWGSB won 4-3 on penalties

On Wednesday 25th May the Year 8 U13B football team were crowned National Champions! This is the first time that TWGSB has ever won a National Cup – a fantastic achievement.

Eighty Year 8 students – the squad of 16 and their supporters – made the long trip to the Hawthorns Stadium, home of West Bromwich Albion FC in the West Midlands. An excellent game of football followed; both teams were a credit to their schools. Wright Robinson College took the lead two minutes into the second half with a fine shot from their talented number 7. TWGSB pushed for an equaliser. With just two minutes of normal time remaining J.W. got on to the end of an O.P. pass. After beating the last defender J.W. calmly finished his left-footed shot into the bottom right corner of the goal! Five minutes of injury time followed but with no further goals.

A tense and dramatic penalty shoot-out followed, as evidenced by the video of the highlights below compiled by football enthusiast Henry in 8G who couldn't attend as he was on the geography field trip.

The final save by our keeper sparked scenes of sheer jubilation among the TWGSB players and supporters. A magnificent achievement by the players – we are extremely proud of them. A big thank you to those parents who made the journey to West Brom to support us.

 

 

Img 20220525 wa0009 west brom

IMG 20220527 WA0001 West Brom

2nd XI win Kent Cup

The Sixth Form 2nd XI football team won the Kent Cup 1-0 against Maidstone GS at the Tunbridge Wells FC Culverden Stadium on Thursday 28th April. It was a very close game between two good teams and it was brilliant to see the boys’ enjoyment after they had the frustration of 18 months of not playing school football due to COVID-19. Tunbridge Wells FC hosted the game, charged nothing for using their stadium and were excellent hosts.

2nd xi team photo

2nd xi celebration

Even though it is the summer term and cricket season, we have one more football fixture to look forward to. The Year 7B team Kent Cup Final takes place at the Gallagher Stadium on Saturday 11th June (ticketed event, available via Eventbrite). Mr Menzies

Tennis and cricket

It has been great to see our students represent the school in cricket and tennis this summer term. The tennis teams have performed exceptionally well, winning all but one fixture. Both the U15 and U13 teams have been represented by a number of different players, showing strength in depth. Some of the tennis that the students have played, in both their doubles and singles matches, has been fantastic to watch. Both squads have a final fixture in the first week back against Sutton Valence with a chance to end their respected divisions in top spot, which would be a huge achievement.

Years 7–10 have had fixtures in the cricket Kent cups, with only a couple of games affected by poor weather so far! The Year 9 and 10 teams have plate cups to look forward to in the new term and hope to do well in their competitions. The Year 7 and 8 teams have progressed well in their respected cups, with both teams currently at the quarter-final stage. Well done to the Year 7 team, who travelled to Ashford this week, only for their game to be called off after five overs due to heavy rain and then won a thrilling bowl-off in tough conditions. Good luck to all teams in the final term. Mr Boddy

Book Awards Evening

On Wednesday 30th March a group of boys from the school's Page Turners Book Club attended a lively book awards night, held at Kent College, Pembury along with pupils from 14 other local schools. There were two guest authors on the night: Sarah Crossan was very energetic and engaging, and held the attention of the audience with her lively presentation, while Polly Ho-Yen delivered a great talk via  Zoom. Both authors made the evening highly enjoyable talking about their writing.

The award was for the best of eight shortlisted books, all of which featured friendship in one form or another as per this year's theme. The judges were the pupils from the participating schools. The overall vote for best book went to Polly Ho-Yen for Boy in a Tower – a dystopian tale of triffid-like plants that consume and collapse buildings. Their deadly spores prevent the emergency services from helping. Everyone who can get out has left but narrator Ade is stuck in the last remaining tower block because his mother finds it impossible to leave.

Sarah Crossan’s book Toffee, a tale of trauma, grief and belonging, was a close runner up. The boys purchased a lot of books from the bookseller and queued eagerly for Sarah Crossan to sign their books.

Various competitions were held during the evening including fancy dress – one of our boys entered as Arthur Dent from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

The aim of the book club is to enable young people to pick up and read a book that they wouldn’t otherwise read, thus introducing them to new genres and new experiences to broaden their horizons. The boys had attended weekly book club meetings and read some current fiction as well as old favourites such as The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Mrs Musselwhite Steel

Page turners 3   

   Page turners 2     

Page turners 1

Bikeability

We have had another successful week of Bikeabilty at both the Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks campuses with a number of Year 7 students taking part and passing Level 3. Students received a certificate and a badge as proof they had taken part. Mrs Fedrick

Img 0563 bikeability

Chess Club

The school chess club runs weekly on Tuesday Break 1 and 2 in MC8, and is run primarily by Tom and Max, two Sixth Formers with a keen interest in chess. Believing that a school chess club would be extremely popular  among the school's lower years, Tom and Max distributed posters to every form group and sourced both a teacher who would lend his room (Mr McClellan) and the boards and chess sets required. They have been proved correct and have just concluded the club's third intra-school tournament, which is indicative of the club's sucess.

The most recent tournament involved 24 entrants from Years 7–10. This was whittled down to 12, then six, then three in a straight knockout. The final three students then played a round robin with everyone playing each other twice; the student with the most wins is crowned TWGSB Chess Champion. For the second time, Josh in Year 9 took top honours, the runners-up being Sankirth in Year 7 and Daniel in Year 10.

Below is a picture of the Sixth Form chess team and Josh from the first tournament.

Chess

Governor update

Our new parent-governors have been ratified and we are very grateful for their commitment to the school in providing this vital support. Welcome to Nathan Griffiths, Donald Lockyer, Grace Museka, Dan Wass, Bhaskar Shankar, Linda Parambath and Lucie Lattimer.

Dracula: The Bloody Truth

Any of our families interested in seeing a dramatic production over half-term may like to suport one of our Year 13s, Joel, who is appearing in Dracula: The Bloody Truth next Monday 30th May at Hever Castle. Tickets available from the Festival Theatre at Hever: boxoffice@heverfestival.co.uk.

Dracula at Hever

Duke of Edinburgh's Awards

Congratulations to two ex-students (Annaëlle Duffield and George Rutt) who recently received their Gold DofE Awards from Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex at Buckingham Palace. A joyful day at the palace despite the rain!

Every year students at TWGSB take part in the Bronze DofE award and some go on to do their Silver or Gold Award. This is a great achievement and reflects the students' perseverance and self-motivation. Mrs Fedrick

D of E composite