On Tuesday Year 10 and 11 girls, complete with fully packed and bursting rucksacks, set off for the Duke of Edinburgh Silver Expedition in Derbyshire; they have just arrived back – smiling but weary!! They all did really well and Miss Holyoak was impressed with the teamwork and how purposeful everyone was. Thank you to all the teachers who gave their expertise and time, providing great support and backup! Well done to all!
OUR fabulous Summer Fayre!! Thank you very much to everyone who helped to set everything up, put everything away, man stalls, count money, get wet, sing, play an instrument, cook sausages, melt chocolate, donate, bake, busk and hook ducks or splat a rat!
You helped to raise £3,300 in funds for extras for our pupils and hopefully had a good time too.
Special thanks to Gina, Annette, Jonathan, Brian, Michael, Jimmy, David, Jax, Sue and everyone who came along and supported the event!
On Monday the GCSE Art and Technology display went up ready for the Art Moderator’s visit on Tuesday followed by the open exhibition on Wednesday. Once again the standard and volume of work has been excellent and the variety of media, style, execution and subject matter has been outstanding.
Thanks to Year 5&6 performers, we were treated to a most enjoyable Rocky Monster Show on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. It was great to see the cameo roles, great teamwork, confidence and abounding talent displayed by the girls, brought together in this jolly jape! The ‘A’ team of equally talented teachers, all helpers and volunteers including Yvie Stewart for great make-up and Jess Gray for filming! Great job, great fun – thank you all very much.
Reception, Years 1 and 2 enjoyed their trip to Whipsnade Zoo. The day started with the lemurs, and ended in the Butterfly House, where the children were excited to see the large and colourful butterflies flying freely around them. The children have been learning about the life cycle of butterflies so this was an appropriate ending to the visit. Along the way they had time to watch the bird display, hear an interesting and fact-loaded talk about the giraffes, visit the tigers and elephants and much more besides, and, of course, visit the Adventure Playground. It was a very happy day to end a very busy term and year.
On Thursday 29 June some Year 5/6 girls had an afternoon playing in a rounders tournament at Biddenham playing fields. Luckily with the weather this week it did not rain. In the tournament the girls played Bedford Modern, Bedford Girls, Lincroft, Harrold Priory, and Westfield. We won 3 games and lost 3 games. The girls went from strength to strength from game to game. Player of the match for fielding Amelia Creasey. Player of the match for batting Jelena Ilic.
Year 7 baked delicious and highly imaginative ‘Maths cakes’. Thank you to Mrs Hickey and Mr Jessopp!
A Head Teacher’s Award this week is presented to Jelena Ilic for French. Madame Tribe has recommended Jelena; “Over the year Jelena has always produced her very best with her homework. Not only is her work accurate and detailed but it is also beautifully presented. Lately, in French she designed a collage about the weather and made it a truly outstanding piece. She also created an interesting summer and winter uniform which would be her ideal uniform for this school.” Many congratulations Jelena! You can be very proud of your achievements.
There is a lot going on in the last week of term:
The Junior children have their picnic at the School Field today. The weather looks promising.
The Summer Concert takes place on our St Andrew’s School senior playground this evening. Bubbly and canapés will be served by pupil waitresses from 6.00pm and the performance will commence at 6.30pm.
There are two sixth form induction days taking place on Monday and Tuesday, including a trip to Cambridge. They will enjoy the experience of what sixth form life is going to be like at Fenwick House. Our current sixth formers have really enjoyed this year, continuing their education with highly skilled teachers who know them well.
Year 10 girls are off to Thorpe Park on Tuesday to learn all about the physics behind rollercoasters. They will have the opportunity to have a ride on them too! Thank you to Miss Dabell for arranging this. It’s an early departure, so please be at school by 7.45am and a late return, about 8.00pm.
Sports Day for the children in the EYFS through to Year two will take place on Tuesday afternoon on the school field. Then on Wednesday, Year 3 upwards will have their sports day at the athletics stadium.
There is a STEM day on Thursday, all to do with science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This will link in nicely to our guest speaker, Dawn Fitt, President of the Women’s Engineering Society for the annual Prize Giving at St Andrew’s Church commencing at 5.00pm.
Finally, on Friday morning it is a mufti morning, final assembly and then the children will be handed over to you for the summer break at 12.00 midday.
Thank you Mr Daniel for suggesting I should start up a weekly St Andrew’s blog and although my output hasn’t been quite as regular as the ‘Rushmoor Chronicals’ – there certainly hasn’t been a shortage of material!
With this being my final blog – I shall sign off now, with less than one week of this academic year to go and leave you with my sincere thanks for the wonderful support and loyalty shown to St Andrew’s School this year by parents, teachers, the support staff and most importantly, your children. It has been a privilege to work with them all.
List of Letters Week Commencing w/c 26th June
26.06.17 Year 11 Driving Experience HR
26.06.17 Year 10 Uniform HR 27.06.17 Prize Giving Arrangements – Year 3-11 HR
29.06.17 Maths Holiday Work – Years 7-10 DJ/MH
29.06.17 Thorpe Park Arrangements – Year 10 AD
29.06.17 Uniform Shop - All Hyspec
30.06.17 STEM Day Arrangements - All AD
Last Friday, the year 11 girls were invited to have drinks and cupcakes with some of our sixth formers and the Director of Sixth Form, Mrs Beattie, plus the Sixth Form Co-ordinator, Miss Rayer. I hope that the girls enjoyed the opportunity to ask questions about sixth form life at Fenwick House. I firmly believe that our students will continue to flourish if they select the alliance sixth form for their further education. Those who have attended this year have really enjoyed the experience and are making excellent progress. I cannot believe the standard of the artwork that is being produced by the sixth formers, it is fabulous. I am also extremely impressed by their work ethic and they have all put an incredible amount of effort into their recent AS levels. Even on exam leave, they came into Fenwick House to make the most of the support provided there. Now, they are all firmly stuck into their A2 studies. The entire cohort have made us incredibly proud and I know they are very happy with their choice of sixth form.
On Tuesday the sixth formers visited the University of Bedfordshire for a UCAS Exhibition where a large selection of universities were represented. This was a great event to give our students ideas on their choices for higher education. The students have also had a personal statement workshop to help them with their applications. Our thanks to Mrs Howard, one of our parents, for providing this workshop; we are so grateful to all of our parents who provide their expertise to help our students. Finally, On Tuesday, the sixth form staff held a UCAS information evening for parents. I think you will agree all of this shows just how well our sixth form students are being supported.
GCSE examinations finished this week, so Thursday evening was a time for our year 11 pupils across the alliance to celebrate. The joint Prom was held at the Sharnbrook Hotel. Well done to the Head Girl and Head Boy teams for organising the event, which proved to be a great way to round off the term. Now, the year 11s have a well-deserved long summer break before they receive their results on 24 August. We look forward to seeing them all on that morning and then hopefully welcoming them to our joint sixth form in September.
Well done to everybody in year 8 who held an international showcase evening on Wednesday. Guests were able to enjoy culinary delights prepared by the pupils, together with music, presentations and performances.
You will be aware that the alliance summer fete will take place on Saturday between 11.30am and 2.00pm at St Andrew’s School on the main playground. These events are a traditional part of school life and we welcome your full support and expect all pupils across the year groups to attend to support their school. I look forward to seeing you there.
I hope that you have all seen the email regarding the upcoming summer concert on Monday 3rd July. Again, it is the turn of St Andrew’s to host this event and we are hopeful that the good weather will continue so it will be held outside. Pupils across the alliance will be performing and if last year’s event was anything to go by, it will be a wonderful musical evening. Please contact the school office if you wish to attend (maximum of 3 spaces per family). The evening will start with drinks and canapes at 6.00pm, served by the older students and the performance will begin at 6.30pm. Please remember to bring a deckchair!
Last Friday evening the pupils and staff from years 1 and 2 spent the evening supporting Save the Children by having a den-building evening and sleepover. I was with Mrs Thomas over the weekend and she told me that there was actually quite a lot of sleep because everybody was exhausted from all the fun activities. Thank you to all the staff who attended and thank you to all the pupils and parents who supported this worthwhile cause. I am told that the alliance have already raised over £900 for Save the Children from the muddy puddle walks and the money raised from the Den Day is still to be counted. Fantastic effort by all concerned!
Sports News: On Monday a number of the pupils from across the alliance went off to Birmingham International Athletics Stadium to compete in the Independent Schools Association’s National Athletics Final. Well done to everybody who qualified to represent the London Region at this event. We are very proud of you all and we are very proud that some of our pupils finished medallists. On Monday 19th June it was a scorcher of a day, 32º the hottest day of the year, and Year 5/6 still competed in their last rounders match of the season against Harrold. The girls really worked well together. Sophie Woods caught someone out. Roma Kealy stumped someone out at first post. Jelena Ilic stumped loads out at second post and Grace Constant, Amelia Creasey and Shannon Ryall worked really hard in deep field. This week we nominated players of the match, fielding Ella Stone and batting Jelena Ilic. It was a perfect finish to the league with a 14½ - 10 win. Well done. Swimming lessons after May half term were geared towards the Inter house swimming gala that was held on Wednesday 21st June. All pupils took part in their year groups and swam lots of races within their House. Well done to all involved.
A big thank you to all the parents who took the time to come to our pre-school sports day. The event continues to be hugely successful with the children having a wonderful time and enjoying the real sense of community. Some of our oldest toddlers also came to watch the fun and have their own race to show the big children how fast they could go! The parent races were as competitive as usual with the dads showing some real competitive spirit! The children were well rewarded for all their hard work with an ice lolly at the end.
Anyone for BounceTennis? If you haven’t tried it – you really must give it a go! Mrs van der Sande’s class thoroughly enjoyed their taster session at Towers Health and Racquets Club on Friday. They learnt about correct foot movement and body posture for tennis in a fun and engaging way. Thank you to Mrs Pierce at Rushmoor School for organising this.
Save the Children Den Day Sleepover Key Stage 1 pupils from both St Andrew’s School and Rushmoor School joined forces for a very successful sponsored sleepover in aid of Save the Children. They had a great time making their dens and we hope to raise lots of money for this very worthy cause. Well done everyone!
Nearly There! Pupils in Years 5 & 6 are busy with rehearsals and putting the finishing touches on what will prove to be a wonderful show. The performance dates are Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th June at 7.00pm in Wamsley Hall. If you haven’t ordered your tickets – don’t delay!
May I remind parents that on the Rushmoor and St Andrews facebook/twitter pages we regularly update on events and activities at the schools. Please feel free to follow us.
I M Daniel
On Monday 12 June, Mr Farnsworth brought the curriculum to life for Year 5 girls. They visited the Anglian Water site, in Leighton Linslade. Everyone had mixed feelings about visiting the water treatment works, but quickly realised that it was not as grim and smelly as they had expected. They learned about the treatment process and how water can be filtered and cleaned before being returned to the river. They were also given useful tips about how we can do things differently ourselves, to save water and to prevent clogging up and damage to water pipes and sewers.
Rosie Bailey (Year 11) and Courtney Gwiza (Year 10) flew the flag for St Andrew's at the County Athletics Championships at the Athletics Stadium on Wednesday. Rosie achieved a new personal best of 2.30m for pole vault and Courtney competed in the high jump heats. We are very proud of you both!
The Year 10 History students enjoyed a sunny day at Duxford on Thursday where they completed work towards the third topic of their GCSE History course. The students were keen and enthusiastic throughout the day and were a real credit to the school. The site has been chosen as a place of historical interest due to it being originally set up as a training school for First World War pilots which then was transformed into a key base during the Second World War, with many Battle of Britain sorties flying from the base. It latterly had a role to play within the Cold War and of course is now more famous for being a fascinating Imperial War Museum. Mr Jones would like to congratulate the girls from St Andrew's and boys from Rushmoor for their behaviour and application throughout the day.
Our Year 7&8 Rounders team played Newnham after school on Thursday. They played very competitively scoring a resounding win; St Andrew’s 24 - Castle Newnham 7. Everyone played really well and the players of the match were Ella Wing and Shelby Gwiza.
This lunchtime, complete with heavily laden rucksacks containing everything to survive walking, orienteering for themselves and camping out for the night Years 9 & 10 pupils from both schools set off for their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh assessed expedition. It’s a great activity and thanks to the supervision of Miss Holyoak, Mr Morrish, Mr MacInnes and with Mr Swannell as assessor, we wish them all success and enjoyment.
They won’t be the only ones having a ‘sleepover’ - tonight is Years 1&2 Den Day. Children and their teachers will be sleeping at Rushmoor to raise money for Save the Children. The evening will consist of den building activities, story-telling, games and a film. Not only is this a great opportunity for children to learn some great skills but I hope they will also have lots of fun doing so. A big thank you to Mrs Djukic and all the teachers with sleeping bags - without whom this exciting activity would not be possible.
We regularly receive advice from the authorities regarding safety of children on line and I would like to pass on concerns about a reading and creative writing app called Wattpad which although marketed toward young people, harbours some highly inappropriate and explicit content. As always, the message is to regularly check the material your children are accessing from the internet.
We are fast approaching the final week of GCSE exams. Many thanks to Ashley Jones, Noelle Feazey and Sheila Heaney for very effectively, carrying out the Examination Officer’s responsibilities. Sunita Sharma, our SENCO has also done a great job with all of the preparatory work to ensure that our pupils have the most appropriate examination arrangements. With a visit from the Examinations Inspector, it is good to know that regulatory compliance has been fully met. The pupils have conducted themselves in a calm and purposeful manner during the GCSE examination period and we hope that everyone’s efforts will be rewarded in August.
With the first Alliance Summer Fair only a week away – thank you to all those of you so far, who have contributed expertise, time, goods and prizes in preparation for this main event. We look forward to seeing you all here, next Saturday – in the blazing sunshine, to the sizzle of the barbeque and lucky turn of the tombola! With all good wishes for a lovely weekend. Hilary Ryan
List of Letters
05.06.17 Geography Field Trip – Sept 2017 HR
05.06.17 Cadburys World Trip – KS2 KT
05.06.17 Whipsnade Zoo Trip – Rec, Years 1 & 2 GA
05.06.17 Year 8 International Showcase HR
06.06.17 Den Day Sleepover – Junior TD
07.06.17 Pre School Sports Day EN
08.06.17 Silver DofE Expedition CM
08.06.17 Bronze DofE Expedition CM
08.06.17 Year 11 Information HR
08.06.17 Year 6 Morning Up Afternoon HR
09.06.17 Rocky Horror Show Tickets JF
12.06.17 Year 11 Review HR
12.06.17 KS1 & Pre School Sports Day TD
12.06.17 Summer Fayre – All PTFA
13.06.17 Rocky Horror Show Rehearsal JF
13.06.17 National Healthy Eating Week – NN EN
15.06.17 Silver Duke of Edinburgh CM
As we enter the second half of the summer term, it is full steam ahead with a lot going on over the next 5 weeks, so I hope the pupils made the most of their half-term break.
GCSE and AS examinations resumed this week, together with extra revision sessions that the teachers have been putting on to help boost our pupils confidence as they enter the exam room.
We have also had the LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) examinations taking place. LAMDA is one of the UK’s oldest and most respected awarding bodies, which has been offering practical examinations in communication and performance subjects for over 130 years. LAMDA aim to provide people with the opportunity to develop the life skills they need to be a success: attributes such as self-confidence and the ability to communicate clearly and present ideas.
Pupils from years 8 and 9 had the chance to go off to beautiful Wales this week to stay at the Blue Peris Centre, where they have taken part in lots of outdoor pursuits in the wonderful Welsh scenery. They also got to experience the wonderful Welsh weather, rain, with a bit of sunshine! This was another opportunity for pupils across the alliance to mix whilst enjoying this enrichment opportunity.
Pupils in years 3 and 4 have also gone away on a 2-night residential, together with their friends from the same year groups at Rushmoor. This was a big adventure for some of them as it was their first experience of staying away from home on a school trip. They have visited Grendon Hall in Northamptonshire where they have taken part in team-building activities and outdoor pursuits. Pictured: they are on a rope course, blindfolded. I am sure they have enjoyed the experience immensely and will have lots of stories to tell this evening.
Pupils in years 5 and 6 took part in a prayer spaces workshop. Children and young people are innately curious about life. Growing up raises lots of questions and the aim of these types of workshops is to enable children, of all faiths and none, to explore life questions, spirituality and faith in a safe, creative and interactive way. This gives them an opportunity to develop skills of personal reflection and to explore prayer in an open, inclusive and safe environment. The approach purposely allows pupils to make their own meaning and to draw their own conclusions.
I was delighted to see our younger pupils having the opportunity to take part in the swimming gala hosted by Bedford Modern School. This is a great way for pupils in years 1 and 2 to get their first glimpse of the competitive sporting world that we like to promote here at St Andrew’s.
This weekend I know that some of our eldest students who are based at Fenwick House are off to visit university open days. This will continue over the coming weeks and will also happen next September and October. We have a UCAS information evening taking place on 20th June for parents, to explain about the whole application process. My thanks to the Sixth Form staff for all the support they are giving to our sixth form students with regard to ideas for higher education, particularly Miss Rayer, who is becoming an expert on everything to do with UCAS.
The Year 10 students have been working hard on their mock GCSE exams and have benefitted from some of them being in the exam hall. This has provided them with an experience of the environment ahead of their second round of mocks next year. It is hoped that this will ensure confidence and familiarity in the process and settings come the real thing next summer. Thanks have to go to all staff in school who have given up time to invigilate and mark these papers.
The Year 11 students have been working through their GCSE exams and we hope that they have prepared fully for them in order to do well. There has appeared to be a calm and focussed atmosphere when they are in school and staff have continued to offer a range of revision clubs and intervention groups to fully support the students. I would like to reassure parents that the error on the English paper will not affect our students due to them studying a different text. We will continue to support and encourage all our Year 11 girls as they enter into the later stages of this examination process.
On Monday 5 June years 5 and 6 were straight back into rounders matches, with a match against Goldington Academy. Unfortunately we were without our bowler Ella Stone so Jelena Ilic and Amelia Creasey stepped in and did an amazing job. There were some mistakes in fielding but the girls are definitely getting stronger and more confident. There were rounders from Grace Constant, Shannon Ryall, Rosie Foster-Glennon and Ruby Ryall which shows the girls are going from strength to strength. We lost this match 20.5 to 16 but scored more rounders than we have in the past. Player of the match for batting was Lottie Kent, and for fielding was Ruby Ryall.
Year 7/8 rounders matches have had an enforced break due to the School of Rock trip and the Blue Peris residential visit, but they will be taking on Castle Newnham next Thursday and we wish them well for that fixture.
Congratulations to Rosie Bailey and Courtney Gwiza who have both qualified to represent North Bedfordshire at the County Athletics Championships next Wednesday, in pole vault and high jump respectively. Danielle Mainstone is reserve for the discus. A fantastic achievement for all three girls – well done!
On 8 June we were very lucky to be visited by a football coach from R & D Coaching who spent time with Reception, Year 1 and 2 pupils, working on their ball skills. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it.
As Nursery lead up to healthy eating week the children have enjoyed dressing up in the colours of their favourite vegetable! We have been singing songs to explore colour and reading books such as ‘Vegetable Soup’. During next week’s healthy eating activities we will encourage children to try a whole range of fresh produce and cooking activities as well as learning about moving our bodies and how to be active.
Our Owls class had a wonderful time recently on the Peppa Pig muddy puddle walk….as there was no sign of rain on that day we decided to create our own fun by mixing paint and water together to create our own rainbow puddles for the children to jump in, plenty of wet mud to make pies in the mud kitchen and hide and seek with Peppa Pig characters being disguised amongst the trees down at Bedford Park.
Many thanks to all parents who attended our recent parents’ evening, it is wonderful to see such open communication between parents and practitioners. If you wish to see your child’s keyworker at any time, please do not hesitate to speak to a member of staff.
Last week Mrs Djukic and I went to the Independent Schools Association’s Conference in York. The theme for the conference was resilience and overcoming adversity. The guest speakers were very good and I have invited one to come along to the staff training day in September to speak on this subject further. Of course, we already have a strong reputation for supporting our pupils extremely well and helping them to build their resilience. I am very proud that the pastoral care we provide is considered to be excellent. This is always the overwhelming feedback we receive from parental questionnaires, and is also highlighted by inspectors during their visits.
One of the things talked about at the conference was an initiative called Girls on Board. This is a scheme focused on helping girls navigate the choppy waters of friendship problems in adolescence and pre-adolescence. The scheme gives girls the language, concepts and skills to assist them in providing their own solutions to friendship problems. The scheme has been put together by a Head Teacher who has witnessed friendships breaking down within school and resolved to try and help girls deal better with the issues that they all face from time to time. More information about this initiative will be shared with the girls and parents over the coming months.
This week, the year 2 pupils from across the alliance have enjoyed their first residential. On Thursday I drove them over to the Chellington Centre in Carlton, where they stayed in a converted church overnight. I was extremely impressed with the accommodation. The children took part in lots of activities, including a nature trail around Harrold Country Park. In the evening they enjoyed games and a talent show and all the excitement meant they had a good night’s sleep in order to refresh themselves for the daytime activities on Friday.
Exam season is now in full swing, with AS levels at our joint Sixth Form and the first lot of GCSEs. I am delighted that the girls have expressed their thanks to teaching staff for the support they are receiving and will continue to receive right up to their last exam. The extra push will benefit them enormously. I wish everyone the very best for each examination.
I am pleased that the students across the school are making good use of all the extra-curricular clubs available to them and thank the teachers concerned for providing them. I am pleased too that Miss Izzard’s Youth Theatre group has caught the attention of more students. Miss Izzard is providing a summer school too, so please contact the school office or Miss Izzard directly if you require further details about this.
Last Friday, 12 May, the alliance was delighted to host the Independent Schools Association’s London Region athletics event at the stadium in Bedford. Well done to everybody who took part. We were pleased that a number of our competitors from across the alliance got through to the prestigious national event which will be held during the next half of the summer term. I was the regional sports representative for the ISA for many years, which is why we regularly host events in Bedford, so I am delighted that this tradition continues and now the St Andrew’s students have the opportunity to take part at both a regional and national level. Sporting opportunities really have come on a long way since the alliance began 4 years ago.
On 15 May years 5/6 had their first rounders match against Bedford Girls’ School A team. It was a very hard game to start the season on, but a perfect opportunity to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the team. We definitely found out the areas to work on in lessons. Shannon Ryall was captain and her and the team represented St Andrews’ really well. There were some fantastic catches by Rosie Foster-Glennon and Ella Stone to get the other team out – and I think it was the catch as well as Ella’s brilliant bowling skills that got her player of the match for fielding. In batting, the girls took too many chances early on, which got a lot of our team out. However, Lottie Kent and Shannon Ryall were the last to stay in. Lottie got player of the match for her batting skills.
On 18 May year 8 played a rounders match against Lincroft School. It was a very close match with St Andrew’s winning 8 to 7.5. It was an excellent game of rounders where the team showed determination and improvement in the second innings. Players of the match were Ella Wing and Evie Maddison.
Is there anybody out there? The children in Reception have been thinking about aliens this week. They listened to stories about aliens and used the internet to find out what other people think life on other planets might look like. Then they designed their own creatures and made ID cards to describe them. If you are passing the Reception classroom, come and look at all our amazing aliens. Grace - “My alien comes from Neptune. It is kind.” Emma - “My alien is called Tobee. It has three black eyes and it can jump very high!” Ruby – “My alien has an orange head and a blue body. It is very gentle and very small.”
Rehearsals for the Year 5 and 6 production of The Rocky Monster Show are going very well. The girls are working very hard to learn their lines and all the wonderful songs.
I would like to remind parents of our digital safeguarding information session on Wednesday 14 June at 6.00pm in Walmsley Hall. This session will be an extremely engaging one hour presentation for parents and guardians, delivered by Richard Denton (Children and Young People Development Officer and School Co-ordinator) who is an experienced expert on digital safeguarding and child protection from Bedfordshire Police.
Nursery News: The older children have been enjoying the independence of using our new child friendly knives during our cooking sessions, and with this new found independence we are introducing a programme of understanding how to keep ourselves healthy with the foods we eat and how we move. With this in mind we have joined part of a national healthy eating week (12-16 June). In the build up to this we will have a mufti day on Thursday 8 June and are asking that the children dress up in the colour of their favourite vegetable. Bethany Childs will become our setting PANco (Physical and nutrition co-ordinator) to support all staff to ensure that we promote the highest level of learning in regard to these areas. If you have any healthy recipes that you would like to contribute, please send them in - we will be creating a recipe book for all the children to enjoy and us.
Our babies have been enjoying transporting and mark making activities to develop their fine motor skills and hand eye co-ordination. Watch out for the next nursery newsletter which will give you some fun activities to do at home, from babies to pre-school.
This weekend I am going to be at the Young Farmers event in Westoning on Saturday promoting the school in the community. These events are always very well attended and I usually am visited by many former pupils and their families. If you are going along, please stop to have a chat.
I M Daniel
TEAM WORK: Reception class really enjoyed listening to Baby Bear’s space adventures in “Whatever Next” and decided to build their own rocket out of a box. They began by looking at pictures of real rockets on the internet. Then, they worked together to design their model, making sure they included all the important parts – the nose cone, the fins, the exhaust flames and of course a big window to look out of. Next, they chose and cut boxes to make the correct shapes. Lastly, they painted it and added foil and stripes to make it look spectacular!
The children were very proud of the result – and will soon be using their rocket to help them write stories about their own imaginary adventures in space…
BUSHCRAFT: On Monday morning Year 5 girls, with lots of luggage, Mr Farnsworth and Mrs Robinson embarked upon a fantastic, if rather chilly, residential trip to Bushcraft in the wilds of Oxfordshire. Bags were full (overflowing in some cases!) and spirits were high. Everyone was excited about the trip ahead although a little unsure of what to expect. Following a brisk 20-minute walk to camp we arrived at our home for 3 days. Tents, camp fires and porta loos, but not a shower in sight!! During the trip the pupils learned about starting fires, trapping animals, using cutting tools, first aid and even panassing a whole salmon. They also worked in tribes to complete the Bushcraft Challenge as well as swimming in an extremely cold lake. The pupils were taught how to build their own woodland shelters and half of the girls were brave enough to sleep in their shelters, instead of in their luxurious tents. The boys and girls also learned about emergency first aid and now know the basics of CPR. Hugely valuable skills which may, one day, save somebody’s life. The girls returned to school on Wednesday evening, tired and smelly, but extremely happy. The trip allowed them to experience traditional ‘Girl Guide’ style camping and they all developed not only new skills but also gained happy memories. Thank you to all staff from both schools for their care and comradery which made this such a positive experience for everyone.
In Senior assembly, Endean Nahummah-Eli from Year 8 was presented with her ISA Essay Competition winner’s certificate and book tokens awarded for her story “Money=happiness?”. This is a notable achievement and Endean and her English teacher, Miss Tweedale, should be very proud of her success.
I was also delighted to present a LAMDA Certificate and Medal to Libby Furmedge in assembly today. She achieved a Distinction and Kiera Barnes-Quinn gained a Merit in the Silver Verse and Prose LAMDA examinations! Miss Patsy Izzard, Speech & Drama Teacher, is very happy and proud that the girls’ hard work has been rewarded, as are we all. Well done!
We wish luck to all those taking part in ISA Athletics at the Stadium today. This is a major event, which has been organised by our alliance for the whole North London Region. A big thank you to both games departments. We have everything crossed that threats of patchy downpours don’t take the edge off this prestigious event and that our athletes enjoy success.
With GCSE Examinations commencing on Monday we wish our Year 11 girls all the very best of luck with this next phase of revision, work on practice papers and the exams themselves. We all enjoyed Pizza and Rounders in the Park this lunchtime and some fun times before the hard work ahead. I very much hope that the girls will reap the rewards of all their hard work in August, on results day!
Assessment time is coming up across most of the school over the next few weeks, and it will feel very quiet following this period of activity! This is a normal part of the school year and we hope something all boys and girls will take in their stride. However, if you do have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact your child’s class teacher/form tutor.
It’s a little way off yet, but the lead up to the final week of term is packed with events so here are some dates for your diary;
Satruday 24th June Joint Schools Summer Fayre 11.30-2.00 at St Andrew’s
Monday 3rd July Joint open-air Summer Concert at St Andrew’s
Wednesday 5th July Sports Day at the Athletics Stadium
Thursday 6th July Prize Giving Years 3-11 at St Andrew’s Church 5.00-6.00
The Year 9 girls successfully completed the practice expedition for their Duke of Edinburgh Award last Friday to Saturday – thank you to Mrs Heaney and Mrs Stott for their support. We are pleased to announce that Miss Holyoak will be co-ordinating the St Andrew’s D of E groups in the future.
Rehearsals for the Joint open-air Summer Concert which will be taking place at St Andrew’s are underway and we hope to see everyone there for a lovely celebration of all the music-making that has gone on throughout the year. Tickets (no charge) will be available shortly.
With all good wishes,
List of Letters
Week Commencing 8th May
08.05.17 Chellington Visit Forms – Year 2 TD
08.05.17 Year 11 English Literature Revision Session RL
08.05.17 Junior Disco – Years 2-5 TD
09.05.17 Nursery Parents Evening EN
10.05.17 Den Day – Years 1&2 TD
10.05.17 Parents Internet Safety Evening – All TD
11.05.17 Prize Giving 2017 – Years 3-11 HR
11.05.17 Year 5&6 Quad Kids Athletics – 25th May P.E.Dept
12.05.17 Year 5, 7&8 Athletics Fixture – 16th May P.E.Dept
12.05.17 Year 2 Swimming Gala – 8th June P.E.Dept
12.05.17 Year 7&8 Rounders Match – 18th May P.E.Dept
Summer Term has well and truly arrived with assessments, sport and residentials. Once the weather warms up we hope to see all pupils in summer uniform. It has been a busy few weeks for tours and visitors and we look forward to welcoming a good number of new starters to the school in September.
Following the opportunities the teaching staff provided for our GCSE pupils over the Easter holidays, Year 11 revision sessions continue to run each evening after school enabling girls to meet course work deadlines, revise and practice papers. Congratulations to the drama students who performed to friends and family on Tuesday evening followed by the actual assessed performances in front of the examiner on Friday evening. Good luck to all those undertaking their Art practical examination this week!
A big thankyou to Mr Ivan Flack for a wonderful evening of music from the London Philharmonic Orchestra at Bedford Corn Exchange on the first Friday of term. The programme, which included Elgar’s Cello Concerto was thoroughly enjoyed by Year 10 &11music pupils from both schools.
On Tuesday 25 April the Year 9 and 10 rounders team set off to compete in their first round of matches, playing Kempston Challenger Academy and Biddenham. However, the weather turned and after attempting to play in sleet/hail and rain the teams will reconvene in June.
Congratulations to Endean Nahummah-Eli from Year 8 who is runner up in the ISA Essay Competition. The total number of entries to the competition was 171, so this is a considerable achievement, to be celebrated. Well done Endean!
Thank you to Mrs Djukic for organising for Rushmoor and St Andrew’s pupils in Years 3 and 4 to visit St Andrew’s Church in Bedford to participate in a Creative Prayer workshop organised by Impact Bedford. A variety of interactive and creative activities were provided for the children to engage with. The aim of the workshop was to give children the time to reflect about themselves and their world. Pupils were given the opportunity to pray creatively using various materials. Alternatively, children could use the time to think and give themselves some reflective space. The workshop supports our pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC).
Senior Assembly on Tuesday about World Earth Day was taken by Mr Jones. I hope that everyone took away some useful advice. On Friday Year 11 had a talk from the NCS about the great opportunities available over the summer from this popular scheme.
On Friday 28 April the Year 5/6 Tri-Golf Competition held at Stagsden Golf Club was won by the St Andrew’s / Rushmoor team! We qualify for the finals, which are on 27 June at the Summer Games. The girls taking part were Aimee & Mia Moliterno and Roma Kealy. Very well done!
On Tuesday 2 May Years 6 & 7 pupils set off with Miss Tweedale and Miss Dabell for the Frontier Centre for their four day activity residential. The weather forecast is promisingly dry and if the Facebook pictures are anything to go by, they are already having a great time!
List of Letters
w/c 19th April – 3rd May
21.04.17 Summer Fayre – All PTFA
21.04.17 Junior Clubs List HB
24.04.17 Senior Clubs List LC
24.04.17 Bake Off Club – Years 7, 8 & 9 CC
24.04.17 Gymnastics Club – Years 1 – 10 JBG
25.04.17 Year 6 Globe Theatre Trip KT
26.04.17 Year 5 Sewage Treatment Works Visit
JF 26.04.17 Bushcraft Residential – Year 5
JF 27.04.17 Year 1&2 Creative Curriculum TD
27.04.17 Year 1 Show and Tell Timetable KT
28.04.17 New Nursery Staff Member EN
02.05.17 Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Practice Expedition DM
03.05.17 Year 9/10 Rounders Match – 9th May P.E.
This half term has passed by in a flash and it has been a really busy one for the pupils and staff across the alliance. Last week we had our full governors’ meeting to discuss planning for the next academic year and to review things so far for this year. We felt it has been a really great couple of terms, with increased opportunities for all our pupils across the alliance and huge successes, particularly in sport, which always pleases me. I would like to thank all the staff at St Andrew’s for their support and enthusiasm in ensuring all our pupils have the opportunities they deserve and I would like to thank the pupils and their families for embracing these opportunities.
We have lots of events coming up over the summer term, one of which is the Summer Ball and you should have received news about purchasing tickets. It will be held on 5 May at the Park Inn Hotel in Bedford town centre. I really hope that St Andrew’s parents and staff will be able to support this event. The Ball is not about raising money; it is about having the opportunity for parents and staff to socialise and enjoy a night out. Tickets can be purchased from the school office. It would be great to see a large number of St Andrew’s staff, parents and friends supporting this PTFA event.
The past week has been dominated by the Peter Pan performance. The pupils and staff involved spent Monday and Tuesday at the theatre putting the finishing touches to their show. Wednesday was the first performance, followed by Thursday evening and two performances on Friday. Everybody involved in the production should be proud of themselves for all the hard work they have put into the show. I would like to congratulate the main cast members, Thomas Kilroy as Peter Pan and Lou Lou Bettsworth as Wendy. You did an amazing job, as did all the other cast members. Thank you to everybody involved in the production, behind the scenes and front of house, particularly Mrs Stott, Mrs Gittins and Mr Day.
In her blog last week, Mrs Ryan mentioned the Auction of Promises. We were delighted that the evening raised approximately £8000 for the PTFA. The amount raised was brilliant considering numbers were down on previous years, perhaps due to the big match at Goldington Road the same evening, but it would be great to see more faces from St Andrew’s at future PTFA events, particularly as the money is used across the two schools to benefit all the pupils. I know it might seem strange coming to the Rushmoor site if you are unfamiliar with it, but we really are trying to promote one whole community across the alliance, so the more we get together the better. There are always plenty of friendly faces to welcome you from both St Andrew’s and Rushmoor.
Last week it was lovely to see our Science department taking the year 6 girls outside and making the most of the sunshine. They were celebrating British Science Week by making slime in the lab and then doing lots of tests on it measuring bounce, height and how far it could be stretched.
This week has been our very first mock AS Level examinations at Fenwick House. Our Sixth Form students have been revising really hard and it has been interesting to see just how they are coping with these examinations. With not long to go until the real things in May and June, it has been valuable to enable them to get to grips with the style of the examinations. With all the changes that have happened recently to the A-Level syllabus actually getting hold of revision guides and past papers has been difficult. I would like to thank all our sixth form staff for their efforts this year in providing a great learning environment for the students and fantastic enrichment opportunities.
I would add that the Easter break is a good time for the year 11 and year 12 students to do lots of revision. It is just 13 weeks until the last GCSE examination will be sat. Please ensure your child has a sensible revision timetable planned and makes good notes. Teachers can answer any queries they may have next term if they ask for help.
At one of the conferences I attended I heard about the WE DAY so I asked our PSHE co-ordinators across the alliance to look into it. This resulted in a group of pupils being taken to Wembley to attend a day of special celebrations. It proved to be a great experience for the girls and boys and I would like to thank Mrs Bassett-Gilham and Miss Camino for taking them. This links into the PSHE curriculum and encourages pupils to be aware of issues from around the world. Click here to find out more https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqtzsIEn-lg
This year WE Day fell on the 22nd March 2017 and the St Andrew’s pupils from years 7 and 8 who went along to Wembley Arena had a thoroughly enjoyable time. WE is a movement that brings people together and gives them the tools to change the world. The WE vision is to empower people to transform local and global communities by shifting from “me” thinking to “we” acting, helping to make the world a better place as we are all connected. Together WE change the world. The event brought together world-renowned speakers, A-list performers, and thousands of young people to celebrate a year of action that transformed communities and changed lives.
The children from the Reception classes at St Andrew’s and Rushmoor have joined forces again to take part in a scavenger hunt at Bedford Park. It is great to see the children having the opportunity to get together during enrichment events and I am sure that they enjoyed this particular outing immensely. Thank you to all the staff involved for arranging it.
Thank you to Miss Tweedale for arranging a Key Stage One Creative Curriculum presentation. Pupils from years 1 and 2 were delighted to be able to show their parents and guests all their work at this special event. I hope that those who came along enjoyed the opportunity.
With Mother’s Day this Sunday the Junior School invited their mums to breakfast on Friday morning. This is a lovely St Andrew’s tradition and it is a great way for the children to say a big thank you to their mums for everything they do – including sending them to a lovely school like St Andrew’s! Thank you to everybody involved in hosting this event and to all those who came along. We hope every mum with children throughout the nursery, junior and senior school enjoys this Sunday.
We are currently planning heavily for next year and one of the things we have been looking at is the sport provision for our sixth form students. Last week we arranged for the year 11s and 12s to visit the new complex that has just opened opposite the school field, Towers Health and Racquets Club. It is a wonderful facility and I am pleased to report that our Sixth Form students will have access to it next year. As well as being able to use the gym, this now means students will be able to swim too.
As I said earlier, our pupils are getting great opportunities in sport this year and I would like to add my personal congratulations to the girls who travelled to Chigwell to take part in the ISA Mixed Hockey Tournament last week. They won the tournament with the boys from Rushmoor. What a really fabulous achievement in a tough, fast-paced sport. Well done to Shannon, Ruby and Roma. I am very proud of you.
Girls from years 7, 8, 10 and 11 took part in a badminton tournament on Tuesday 21st March at Webber Independent School, Milton Keynes. The girls enjoyed the experience and played well in a very high standard competition.
I was delighted to see the photographs on our FaceBook Page of the girls having their first cheerleading lesson. I saw fantastic cheerleading on my recent sports trip to Boston. Of course, the Americans take it all very seriously! We have a way to go before we catch up with them, but it is looking good so far girls! As I have mentioned before, we will filter this club down to other age groups if it proves popular. This opportunity came as a result of my council meeting with the pupils.
Lastly, I would like to finish by wishing all our pupils and their families, together with the staff a lovely Easter break. I look forward to seeing you all in the summer term, which is always busy, so make the most of the rest.
I M Daniel, BA, NPQH
Last week’s disco for Year 8s and 9s proved to be popular, as did the previous disco for the Years 6 and 7 pupils; therefore, we will ensure that more of these are organised in future for the pupils to enjoy. The discos also raised funds for our chosen charity, GEMs, so thank you to all who came along.
The lighter evenings are benefitting our extra-curricular activities, not least, our horse riding club which is strong and Mrs Turner tells me that our young riders are becoming much more confident and familiar with the horses.
Key Stage 2 Trip to the Natural History Museum
Pupils from Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 joined forces with Rushmoor School on Tuesday for a wonderful and informative trip to the Natural History Museum in London. They visited the the Museum's world-famous dinosaurs, came face-to-face with a roaring T Rex, saw a stunning array of specimens, witnessed the giant Blue Whale model in the Mammals Hall, took an escalator ride through a giant metallic globe and experienced an earthquake…all in a day! The pupils were magnificent and a true credit to the school. Well done!
The Year 5 girls have now finished their Cinemasports entry for 2017, which they called ‘Attraction?’. They all worked extremely well as a team and witnessed first-hand the challenges associated with creating their own film. Everyone enjoyed the experience and produced a fantastic final piece. Click on the link to see their film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMuxEwDsIbw&t=1s
On Thursday, Year 8 became BBC news reporters for the day. Having selected their areas of interest each group investigated public opinion and put together their news reports;
“My group went around to each year group and asked them all the same questions about social media. There were some very creative ideas. One of the year groups I found extremely imaginative was Year 10. They said they had many social media accounts. They said having your phone in class may cause distraction and bullying as some internet crazes can come across as offensive. They also said it may affect your school work and may influence the way we think. Lots of the girls said they think it would be a good idea to have our phones in school but only with a few rules like having to keep them in our bags until lunch times. This is so we can use them for pleasure. However, most of the teachers say it’s not the best idea to have them in school as bullying can happen and you will never be able to get away from it. In my opinion I believe not having our phones is nice at school as I am on my phone all day at the weekend. It’s a nice break .......”
Thank you to Mrs Turner and Mrs Jones for their support and guidance. Please find the link to our special News Report website:
Years 1 and 2 had a very exciting visit from the firemen last Thursday. We learnt the important safety rule if there is a fire in a house – Get out, Stay out, Call the fire brigade out! They also learnt ‘stop, drop and roll’ and Miss Tweedale, Mrs Robinson and Mrs Chinna even got involved in rolling around on the floor to put out a fire! They learnt lots of important and interesting things about fire safety and really enjoyed the firemen dressing up in their fire safety gear! Sadly, just as they were about to go outside to see the fire engine, the firemen were called out for an emergency to deal with a fire! Although the children were disappointed that they didn’t get to spray the hoses, they understood that the emergency must be dealt with.
Mrs Djukic writes; This term’s Spring Assembly was a great success with parents and friends enjoying the songs and poems performed by Reception to Year 4. The children shared in singing old and new songs, but the favourites were there including ‘Spring Chicken’ and ‘A Spring Thing’. Thanks to Mrs Trunchion for all her hard work in creating such a musical feast.
Each class had learnt poems to recite to the audience and these were proudly performed. Reception had the audience particularly captivated with their offerings of ‘What is an Egg’ and ‘I’m a Little Chicken’, which they clearly enjoyed and the assembly was rounded off with a piece by the Percussion Club using hand-made instruments.
Year 5&6 Netball League v Margaret Beaufort . A huge well done to our girls who played incredibly well on Wednesday and were leading right up to the final few seconds. The match was very exciting and ended with a final score of 1-1. Player of the match was Lottie Kent. Congratulations to our Year 6 mixed hockey team who won the ISA hockey competition on Friday! This is a sport that is on the up at St Andrew’s and this is a great way to end the season. The girls and boys were unbeaten over 8 matches and finished with a 2-1 victory in the final. The whole squad performed admirably.
The squad was Roma Kealy, Shannon Ryall, Ruby Ryall, Henry Sayer (Captain), Ben Clarke, Charlie Maudlin, Fynleigh Brandon, Sebastien Hendrix, Oliver Codrington, Nathan Johnston and Luke Wilson.
Auction of Promises
The Auction of Promises took place at Rushmoor’s Randall Hall on Friday evening. In spite of the crowd puller of a Blue’s match at Goldington Road, there was a good turnout and some great lots to bid for. I would like to say particular thanks to Gina Ciuro for co-ordinating everything so well. Also thank you to Mr Farnsworth and Mrs van der Sande who gave their usual enthusiastic support, time and effort to this event.
We had over 80 lots, with 100 people attending and the sum raised was in the region of an impressive £7,500 raised to benefit all our pupils across Rushmoor and St Andrew’s. I would like to thank everybody who generously donated or bid for the sold lots especially Sam Roberts who volunteered his time to be auctioneer. Your support is very much appreciated!
Red Nose Day
This year, Red Nose Day coincides with the weekend of Mothering Sunday, and we are combining our fund raising with our Mothers’ Day Breakfast event. We look forward to welcoming mothers and other family members to join their children for a continental-style breakfast in Walmsley Hall to start the day on Friday 24th March.
Head Teacher’s Award
This week these go to our Year 6 Bedfordshire Festival entrants who did so well in the following categories; Lottie Kent, Duologue; Isabelle Clegg, Duologue; Ella Stone, Piano and Jelena Ilic, Clarinet. Well done girls!
Wishing you all a good week as we gallop towards the Easter break.
List of Letters
Week Commencing w/c 13th March
14.03.17 Year 5 – Farming and Food Show JF
15.03.17 Mother’s Day Breakfast and Red Nose Day – Juniors TD
15.03.17 Year 11 Easter Revision Timetable AJ
15.03.17 Red Nose Day – Seniors HR
17.03.17 Car Parking - All HR
17.03.17 BBC School Report and Sports cinema SH
It is hard to believe quite how fast a fortnight goes when you are working in a school environment. Certainly, whilst I have been looking at preparing my fortnightly blog, the past couple of weeks have been full and have kept us all busy.
I would like to start by praising our year 12 students who I mentioned in my last blog. They went off to Swanage for a geography fieldtrip just after half-term. We have received feedback from the centre to say just how delighted they were with our students’ work ethic. They crammed so much into their trip, working from 9.00am to 9.00pm. They were praised for being one of the very best groups the centre have hosted. I expect our students to represent the school well, both in and out of school, so this feedback makes me incredibly proud. Well done to Amelia, Rebecca, Alex, Louie, Oliver and Owen. I know you all found the trip very useful with your studies. Now it is full steam ahead with revision for your examinations next term.
We’ve had the year 10’s consultation evening, which I hope was a positive experience for all concerned. At this stage there really should be no surprises and my one real piece of advice to the students is that effort is of paramount importance from now, all the way through until the final GCSEs in June 2018. Revision should become second nature in years 10 and 11, little and often being the key! I was brought up on the saying about perseverance and I believe it is good advice! As parents we need to be really positive and ensure we praise effort. It focuses your child’s attention on the right issues.
We are all incredibly proud of the students who are participating in the Bedfordshire Festival for Music, Speech and Drama. I have been pleased to see the joint choir rehearsing and they sounded fantastic. Everybody who takes part should be really proud of themselves. It is a serious competition and the experience is nerve-racking, but can really help to boost confidence in our students. It is a proven fact that the performing arts create a fun and structured space for children to navigate the ups and downs of their adolescence. Learning how to perform, singing with and in front of others, acting or dancing as part of a team or group – all of these things help children build a sense of purpose, camaraderie, confidence, and self-esteem.
Another thing that helps to build confidence in a child is knowing how to converse well. This is something that we all need to do in order to cope with life, anything from social situations, to job interviews. We also like to encourage our students to have a go at public speaking, as at some stage in our lives we all usually have to speak in front of an audience. Our students show a good deal of flair in this area and they are currently putting it to good use when working on their English speaking assessments. In my opinion, it is absolutely disgraceful that the speaking element of English no longer counts towards the final examination mark. I believe the ability to speak well is a really useful tool that we all need to develop. Confidence in front of an audience and the ability to appear natural when speaking publicly are really useful. Once you’ve learned the basic skills associated with public speaking, you’ll find that being able to effectively speak in public has profound benefits, including influencing the world around you and developing leadership skills.
I am delighted to report that our Peter Pan performances have proved to be very popular and tickets are selling fast. Please do contact the Admin Office if you need to book yours still. The students were busy again on Sunday rehearsing and we are so grateful for their commitment. Our thanks to parents for juggling your Sunday routines around in order to taxi the students to and from the rehearsals.
We are starting to think about preparations for summer events, so a date for your diary! We will be holding a musical concert at St Andrew’s on 3 July 2017 from 6.30pm. This follows on from the successful concert we held last year at Rushmoor where we had over 200 people attending, with canapes and bubbly to help put us in the mood for a ‘proms style’ evening, celebrating all things musical. It was a great atmosphere and I am sure that will be repeated this year too. The plan is to have performers from across the alliance, from the junior school upwards. Fingers crossed that the weather will be kind to us!
We are also starting to arrange the first joint sports days for the alliance students. The Junior sports day for nursery through to year 2 will be held on the Games Field on 4 July 2017 in the afternoon. Years 3 – 12 will attend sports day at the Athletics Stadium on 5 July 2017 all day. We will ensure that each school’s traditions are respected, but we feel that by combining, it will provide wonderful atmospheres and great sporting occasions.
Some of the students from St Andrew’s are enjoying a joint photography club with Rushmoor students. They have been learning about topics such as aperture (basically, large aperture lets in more light to the camera shutter for an exposure, while small aperture has a smaller opening in the lens diaphragm to let in less light for a given exposure), ISO (in digital photography ISO measures the sensitivity of the image sensor. The lower the number the less sensitive your camera is to light and the finer the grain. Higher ISO settings are generally used in darker situations to get faster shutter speeds) and depth of field (the distance between the nearest and furthest elements in a scene that appear to be “acceptably sharp” in an image). I know the students are learning far more about these topics than I will ever know and they probably won’t have to look up the meanings as I did! Last Tuesday they went across to The Mill in Bromham to capture some shots all under the expert guidance of Mr Child, who has volunteered his services. My thanks to him for running this club and for also compiling the recent Sixth Form marketing video, which featured on our FaceBook page recently. You can watch it by clicking this link www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsfICMcduG4
Well done to all the students from years 5 and 6 who took part in the netball match against Broughton Manor Prep School. It was a close fought competition, which finished 6-4 to them.
Also well done to the girls who took part in a very wet Independent Schools Association’s Netball Tournament. Fantastic levels of enthusiam in horrid conditions!
Finally on the sporting front, I would like to add my personal congratulations to all the students who took part in the Rowney Warren cross-country competition. I am delighted that our year 5/6 team achieved third place overall. This really is an excellent result.
I was delighted to see the students who are taking part in the Junior Skydiving GB competition have now started to raise funds for their equipment by holding a cake sale. Thank you to everybody who supported this by donating or purchasing cakes. It is great to see the support across the school and really highlights the family friendly feeling we strive to achieve. I noticed on our FaceBook page that this caught the attention of somebody who speaks Dutch, who left a comment that translated to “What fun to do that”. It is great that the students have so many opportunities to have fun during the school week and I am pleased that our reputation is spreading further afield!
A couple of Friday’s ago the children from years 6 and 7 had the chance to attend a disco and this week it is the turn of the year 8 and 9 students. I hope they have a great evening. Once again, thank you to the PTFA members for giving up your time to support this event. Also, thank you to our Head Boy, Oliver Sadd, and his Dad for providing the disco equipment again.
Miss Tweedale gave an interesting assembly outlining the Fundamental Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect which underpins our society.
It’s a little early to be thinking about Christmas………. but Mrs Ayres, is collecting together the entries for the Royal Mail Christmas Stamp Competition this week ready to send off on Monday. All the entries so far have been fantastic and we are hoping for a winner! As well as receiving a prize for themselves and a prize for the school, the chosen design will be an official Christmas 2017 stamp which can be purchased at the Post Office.
The year 5 girls have been participating in the International ‘Cinemasports’ event. This film festival involves teams from across the world producing their own short film, (1-3 minutes) which must include 2 specific ingredients, which this year are ‘Zipper’ and ‘Magnet’. The girls have planned and produced their film which will be edited and uploaded to the Cinemasports Website ( http://www.cinemasports.com/ ) by the end of March.
All of the girls have been involved in this project and have learned about script writing, camera angles and film production. In the past this has been a fantastic experience for the girls and I am sure that it will be just as successful this year. Click here to see our previous videos.
Finally, we are pleased to be offering a Ballet Club for pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. This will start on Tuesday 14 March at 12.35-1.05pm in the Senior Hall. Please contact your child’s class teacher if you would like them to attend.
We understand the importance of keeping children active and the Nursery team have implemented a new physical introduction to the day through fun rhymes and action songs. We have trialled this with our oldest children so far and it seems to have been a huge hit….if you would like to enjoy their favourite rhyme at home you can find it on YouTube: ‘Shake your sillies out’ by the learning station. We would love you to send us photographs of your child doing their dance at home! Photographs can be sent to email@example.com.
Children of all ages enjoyed dressing up for World Book Day; we had a fantastic day exploring our books from home and we would like to mention Genevieve (babies) and her mum for their brilliant costumes….well done! Our older nursery children enjoyed a ‘book day’ parade with the junior school and we were very proud of them all.
Nursery management have been busy looking at ways in which to incorporate the community into nursery life and are currently in the process of working with the University of Bedfordshire to look at use of their forest school and also talking with the local retirement home to arrange for our oldest children to visit them to share experiences with them. We are very excited about these potential opportunities and will keep you updated as we go along.
Our youngest children have been enjoying texture/sensory play leading on from our last stay and play session; they have experimented as they attempt to pour flour down a water wheel or mixed coloured water by running separate colours down a variety of funnels and ramps... needless to say it has caused plenty of mess! The pre-school are getting ready for spring and have lots of lovely seeds and herbs to plant to make their outdoor area a colourful place to be. If you are a parent with green fingers you are more than welcome to come and join in, we also welcome any donations of seeds or bulbs. We have been learning new spring songs; music time is always a favourite with the children who look forward to seeing Mrs Trunchion each week.
Miss Niro would like thank all the parents so far who have returned their questionnaire regarding the nursery and the team. All feedback from parents and visitors will be incorporated into future action plans. Your fantastic feedback will be shared with staff, so keep it coming!
I would like to thank the students and staff who gave up their Saturday morning in order to attend the Open Morning. It was pleasing to see a number of prospective families coming to view our school, together with current families using the chance to chat informally with staff. Our students really are our best advertisment and mornings like this do help to promote the school well. Pictured are some of our students with the crocodile they were using as part of a drama display at the Open Morning.
Finally, another reminder about the Auction of Promises to be held on 17 March 2017. This has always proved to be an entertaining evening. The price is £10 per head which includes curry and wine. You can also bring your own nibbles and drinks. Please contact the Admin Office to purchase tickets. The event will be supporting the PTFA and our chosen GEMS charity (the school in India).
I M Daniel,
BA, NPQH Principal
Thank you, to all those who contributed towards a busy and successful Open Morning: it was great to meet new families and also to see some of our old girls back to reminisce. The guides and pupils who came along to take part in a host of activities all did a great job and it was also good to welcome ex-staff, alliance teachers and Governors.
We celebrated Shrove Tuesday in Senior assembly with an impressive display of ‘tossing the pancake’ and we took a look at how a period of fasting or abstinence is a common theme through world religions.
Junior School News from Mrs Djukic:
Key Stage 2 Performance Assembly
Our Key Stage 2 Performance Assembly was a true celebration of our pupils’ many and varied talents. Isla Plaatjes, Isabella Milner-McLean, Octavia Bogacki and Amy Parrish sang beautifully whilst Amelie Walsh, Keyah Longdon, Isabelle Burt, Sienna Mehmi, Mia Gross, Eliza Aldridge, Stephanie Smith and Ava Smith performed a play they had written. Olivia Sepede and Rosie Foster-Glennon showed their prowess on the piano whilst Toluwa Alade performed a wonderful dance. Roma Kealy demonstrated her excellent command of the French language with her powerpoint ‘Mes Passe-Temps’.
This was a wonderful assembly, confidently delivered and enjoyed by all our Junior School pupils. Well done everyone!
World Book Day
The entire Junior School community came together to celebrate World Book Day on Thursday. Pupils and staff dressed up as their favourite book character and attempted to recreate a ‘Where’s Wally’ puzzle scene.
Skydiving Cake Sale
Well done to Riya Sangha, Roma Kealy, Sophie Woods, Jelana Ilic and Jorja Bell for organising a successful cake sale in order to raise funds for the St Andrew’s and Rushmoor Skydiving Team. They managed to raise £120. Well done girls!
Our Sports teams have been out and about:
On Wednesday afternoon our Cross Country teams joined a competitive field of 20 or so teams to run at Rowney Warren. In typical cross-country terrain and weather; bright but chilly, muddy and hilly, Rosie Foster-Glennon, Kasey Darnton & Ella Stone's team came a commendable third place. Well done to everyone who ran and we await further results from the organisers.
On Friday 16 girls from Years 5 -8 represented St Andrew’s at the ISA netball tournament in Redbridge. The day started with an exceptionally early start and on arrival the rain was heavy but it didn’t dampen the girls’ spirit and all were keen to get their tournament underway.
The Year 5 and 6 team competed well in their pool with several wins, a strong defensive effort from all players but they found shooting difficult due the slippery ball and the heavy rain. Year 7 and 8 were also extremely competitive in their pool missing out on advancing into the playoffs by one game which ended 3-2 to Portland Place.
Overall both teams performed well and experienced success against some very talented opposition. Well done to all those who attended.
Year 5 and 6: Amelia Creasey, Jelena Ilic, Ruby Ryall, Shannon Ryall, Ella Stone, Sophie Woods, Lottie Kent and Toluwa Alade
Year 7 and 8: Ella Wing, Anais Harvey, Evie Maddison, Emily Morris, Faith Swift, Shelby Gwiza, Sana Abidi and Chiamaka Oriaku.
News from Senior School:
On Saturday morning the newly formed joint Year 7&8 choir performed at the Corn Exchange on the opening day of the Bedfordshire festival under the baton of Mr David Day. The choir gave hugely enthusiastic renditions of Brave, Halleluia and Rutter’s ‘For the Beauty of the Earth’.
They sang beautifully in tune, with wonderful harmonies and I was truly proud as their voices soared above the audience and filled the vast space of the Corn Exchange. Although not overall winners – they were winners in the eyes of all of us who were privileged to be there. I very much hope that they will all keep singing and being members of choirs as there is so much talent to build upon.
A very big thank you to Mr Day, Mrs Backhurst for teaching the girls the songs and to Mrs Frost for accompanying the rehearsals.
Tickets for ‘Peter Pan the Musical’ went on sale this week and we are looking forward to these talented youngsters performing in front of packed audiences at The Place Theatre. It is a wonderful experience for young actors and technicians to perform in a professional theatre and, as has been shown in the past – this can lead to a life long love of theatre and a vocation for some. I am very excited and shall be there every night!
Good luck to everyone who is performing in both the Music and Speech And Drama categories at the Bedfordshire Festival in the forthcoming week.
Our annual House Dance Competition takes place on the last morning of term and teams are beginning to devise their moves ready for the big day. Our new Cheerleading Club was popular with Years 9&10 on Tuesday lunchtime with the girls keeping fit whilst having fun.
The PTFA held their meeting this week and the main focus was to start preparing for the Summer Fayre. This will be a joint event held for the alliance on 24 June 2017 from 11.30am to 2.00pm. The venue is St Andrew’s School this year. Please keep this date free in your diaries. The expectation is that all pupils should help with running stalls and/or performing. If anybody would like to get involved with helping out, then please contact Mrs Boland or Mrs Heaney. It is a great way to get to know other parents and we are hugely appreciative of all support.
With preparations for Year 11’s GCSE exams well underway Radio 1’s My Mind and Me, presented by Gemma Cairney and Dr Radha, present a special focusing on different aspects of young people’s Mental Health: this Wednesday at 9.00pm Dr Radha is hosting a session which is looking at helping with stress and pressure around exams which may be useful for Year 11 parents to tune in to.
Mr Daniel will be writing the Blog every other week so I look forward to ‘chatting’ to you again in a fortnight.
List of Letters Week Commencing w/c 27th February
27.02.17 Peter Pan Tickets – Cast SSt
27.02.17 Year 10 Parents Evening SSt
28.02.17 Rocky Monster Show Audition Letter – Years 5/6 JF
01.03.17 Gymnastics Club – Years 3-10 PE
02.03.17 Year 5/6 Netball Matches – 7th & 8th March PE
03.03.17 Year 4/5 Cross Country Match – 23rd March PE
03.03.17 International Cinemasports Event – Year 5 JF
The week before half-term we had our A-level taster evening, which was another chance for the year 11 students to learn more about the subjects we are offering for them. It is really important for them to have the chance to chat with the subject teachers and make an informed decision on their future options. We are strongly promoting our Sixth Form because we feel it is the right place for our students to continue their studies. It should be an automatic transition for our students to continue their post-16 education with us. We believe that the exceptional pastoral support, small classes, enrichment opportunities, mentoring and excellent teaching and learning our students receive in years 12 and 13 will prepare them well for their post-18 choices.
Our year 12 geographers went off to the Bedford Archives on the last week before the short break. The Archives Service cares for the written, oral and visual heritage of the Borough. It aims to ensure that the heritage material remains available to both present and future generations. The Archives Service can be used to discover your Bedfordshire ancestors, as well as uncover the history of buildings, villages and towns in the historic county. You can also use the collections to find out how national events were experienced locally. This links in with our year 12’s coursework studies on the public perception of certain local areas.
This particular A-level group are being kept very busy with enrichment opportunities; this week they had an early start on Wednesday morning, meeting at the school at 6.30am to head off to Swanage for a 3-day fieldtrip. Their location for the trip is Leeson House, the ideal venue for A Level fieldtrips, it is a secluded and comfortable residential centre situated near the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. The itinerary has been set to ensure our students learn and practice as many field skills as possible on the coastal topics. They will also have evening classroom sessions in order to collate data, collect secondary data, analyse their findings and write up their conclusions. They will visit Corfe Castle village and Studland Knowl Beach. My thanks to Miss Ross and Mr Whomsley for accompanying the students.
Well done to all our girls who took part in the Independent Schools Association’s London North Cross-Country Competition, which was hosted by Rushmoor and St Andrew’s. Thank you to all the staff who played a part in making the afternoon run smoothly. We were very pleased with the results, with Rosie Foster-Glennon finishing in first place, which is a fantastic achievement. Amelia Baker finished in fourth place, Evie Maddison in sixth place, Rosie Bailey eighth, Francesca Milburn tenth and Anusha Kambli eleventh – all fantastic results too. Great effort and I wish them all the best of luck at the ISA National Championships.
I would like to add my personal congratulations to Amelia Baker, Rosie Foster-Glennon and Evie Maddison who finished 3rd, 4th and 12th respectively in the County Cross-Country Championships just before half-term, as well as Rosie Bailey and Anusha Kambli who came 37th and 39th. This is a gruelling course and a tough competition, so the girls all did tremendously well. They should be very proud of their accomplishments and I know everybody at the school is very proud of them too. Again, thank you to the PE staff.
Overall it has been a great term so far for cross-country and I was delighted to learn that St Andrew’s was listed in 3rd place in North Bedfordshire for cross-country. This is an amazing achievement for a small school. Well done to all the students who have taken part and thank you to our PE Department.
The year 10 students studying art had a great first day back after half-term, with a trip to London. The group visited the Victoria and Albert Museum. The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art and design, housing a permanent collection of over 2.3 million objects that span over 5,000 years of human creativity. The museum houses some of the greatest resources for the study of architecture, furniture, fashion, textiles, photography, sculpture, painting, jewellery, glass, ceramics, book arts, Asian art and theatre and performance. So plenty to keep the girls busy! Thank you to Mrs Probets, Mrs Andrews and Mrs Ryan for taking the students.
We have a great deal going on at the moment in terms of performing arts, with the Peter Pan production rapidly approaching. I am really pleased to hear that the students are very committed and rehearsals are going well. Students will be rehearsing during the Open Morning on Saturday 25 February and I am sure they will showcase their talents well to impress our visitors. We also have many students taking part in the Bedfordshire Festival for Music, Speech and Drama, with a joint choir made up of students from Rushmoor and St Andrew’s performing for the first time this year. I do hope that parents will be able to attend the group and individual performances. My thanks to all the staff from across the alliance for their work in preparing our students for this Festival. The choir will be performing ‘For the Beauty of the Earth’ by John Rutter, ‘Brave’ by Sara Bareilles and ‘Hallelujah’ by Leonard Cohen.
Subject help desks and booster sessions are available to students in year 11 and my advice is that everybody makes good use of them. In the run up to the formal examinations this support really helps. I know that our current year 12 cohort would give year 11s the same advice – they attended the booster revision sessions and sought additional help if they were uncertain of a topic and this helped them feel more confident in the examinations. I would also reiterate the fact that revision needs to be something that is done routinely now, right up to the last examination in June. Little and often is the key! A sensible revision timetable is vitally important.
Tonight is disco night for the students in years 6 and 7 from across the alliance. I remember my own sons attending these prior to me being involved with St Andrew’s School, I am glad they have been reinstated this year. I hope the students all enjoy the night and my thanks to the volunteers from the PTFA and the staff for arranging this. Thank you to Oliver Sadd, Head Boy at Rushmoor and his Dad for running the disco for us.
The year 9 consultation evening was held on Tuesday evening, 21st February. I hope that our year 9 students have finalised their decisions in regard to their option subjects. We are always happy to discuss this further if needed. I hope that the evening itself proved informative for both students and parents. Please do contact the subject teacher direct via email if you need any further assistance – we are here to help.
Aesop's Touring Theatre Company specialises in Theatre in Education, touring Schools, Children's Centres, Art Centres and Theatres nationally throughout the year with plays and workshops specifically written and designed for Nursery, Infant, Junior and Senior age groups. The Company aims to educate young audiences through the powers of entertainment and imagination whilst, at the same time, encouraging children to question and think for themselves. This Friday, 24th February, Aesop’s performed to an audience made up of students from across the alliance from Reception year through to year 6. It was arranged to support their history lessons. I hope they all found this enrichment opportunity enjoyable. Thank you to Mrs Djukic for organising it.
Well done to Matilda Norman for generously donating her hair to charity. Her lovely locks will be used to make real hair wigs for patients suffering hair loss.
Our Year 5 and 6 girls had their first netball match just before the half term break. They played valiantly against Bedford Girls School and Player of the Match was Jelena Ilic.
Our Spring Literacy morning was a flurry of creative activity. Pupils thoroughly enjoyed working collaboratively to produce attractive displays based on characters created by the popular 2011–2013 Children's Laureate writer, Julia Donaldson.
Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 each looked at the story ‘What the Ladybird Heard’. Reception made a giant paper mâché ladybird, they painted the ladybird and added spots and glitter! Year 1 decided to make some animal masks based on the animals in the story that helped to save the prize cow. Year 2 looked carefully at the story and wrote their own version of ‘What the ladybird heard’ called ‘What the caterpillar heard’ swapping the ladybird for a caterpillar. They used some lovely language and adjectives in their story and it has a fantastic ending. We came together at the end and decorated some cakes with ladybird icing and chocolate chips.
Years 3- 6 used ‘Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book’ as the inspiration to produce a collaboratively written book of their own. The day started with pupils across the different year groups being paired up to share their own favourite books which covered a very wide range of genres. Each pair then chose a favourite book to use as the stimulus for their own double page spread. As well as writing about their book in rhyme, pupils used their creativity to illustrate their page using a range of media. The resulting pages are wonderful to read and very individually presented. They are displayed up the blue stairs in Walmsley House so don’t forget to pop along and take a peek!
On Wednesday 22nd February the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) celebrated World Thinking Day. This day has been marked by WAGGGS since 1926, celebrating international friendship and raising awareness on issues affecting girls and young women. Charlotte Kent, Roma Kealy, Amy Parrish, Isabelle Burt and Amy Parrish came to school in their association’s uniforms to mark this special day.
It has been a busy week in nursery as we received visitors from other settings who wanted to look at how we support our children individually. Ms Dempsey and Miss Niro have been extremely proud of the visitors’ reactions and feedback to our setting, in particular how engaged and motivated the children are. We are looking forward to continuing to build our network of childcare settings in order to put together a focus group which will look at best practice.
Following the children’s interests so far this week, we have enjoyed dinosaurs, excavating fossils and bones, the season of spring, magnets, room on the broom and outdoor mark making (Writing). Children have also enjoyed baking together in order to create real life props for their home corner. Our younger children are relishing the task of getting to grips with scissors and we would particularly like to thank Nicole (who is based in Toddlers) for her great ideas in ensuring that learning this particular skill has been exciting and presented in different ways.
We would like in particular to mention Isaac and his mummy in our Owls class for a continuous supply of interesting facts and models from their adventures, this made for a fantastic focus week and plenty of new facts to discover for the rest of the class.
As the weather becomes warmer, we are planning ahead and looking forward to planting a new batch of fruit and vegetables along with the Reception children as part of our integrated learning experiences. If you are a keen gardener and have some spare seeds, we would welcome any donations.
We have also welcomed two further additions to our nursery family this week and practitioners have worked hard to ensure that their first few days have been enjoyable and begin to build solid relationships.
We are looking forward to seeing everyone at this Saturday’s stay and play where we will be enjoying sensory play which includes cooking, making playdough, cornflour play, light boxes and sensory bottles. We will also be displaying a range of resources which cover topics such as speech and language, guides to levels of development for your child’s two year old progress checks and available sessions for you and your child at local children’s centres. While you are here, please feel free to have a look at the junior school which will be holding their open morning, the school staff will be more than happy to assist you.
Visit to Boston
Over the half-term break I visited Boston, Massachusetts in my role as Vice Chair of the Legacy of the Olympic Committee across Bedfordshire. I really didn’t know what to expect, but we had a jammed packed itinerary for the week. As Principal of two schools I found it fascinating to be able to visit a range of educational establishments from state schools, to independent schools, colleges, right up to Harvard University. I brought lots of ideas back, not just about sport, but also the wider curriculum. I will be discussing these with teachers across the alliance. There was a huge emphasis on sport and fitness, right from a really young age and I witnessed the very best PE lesson for junior school children I’ve ever seen. The cheerleading was fantastic, so I am glad we are introducing this at St Andrew’s. You can see from the indoor track facilities in the photograph, they are well prepared for the adverse weather they have. We saw a lot of snow!
Whilst in Boston, we had the fantastic opportunity to meet Nelson Mandela’s grandson, who is continuing his grandfather’s legacy. He travels the world to give talks on what happened to his grandfather, apar theid and how Nelson Mandela overcame adversity to lead South Africa into a brighter direction. It was a truly inspirational night.
Ndaba Mandela spoke in detail about meeting his famous grandfather when he was 11 and living with him in South Africa's Presidential Palace. He said “I carry with me the values of my grandfather, I am an African and I know what it means to be African, and I’m proud of it.”
Ndaba Mandela is chairman of the Africa Rising Foundation, a nonprofit foundation that works to improve Africa's image around the world. The organisation also works on economic development in Africa. Their aim is to create a mindset that instills and uplifts a heightened sense of pride and purpose in young Africans to ignite a New African Generation. I will use some of his words and put together an assembly on the subject for the senior students. His message to the audience was ‘together we can achieve anything’.
Open Morning is tomorrow and it would be great to see the whole school community attend to show off their school. This really helps our visitors to see the real sense of pride and belonging the students have for their school. It is also fun for students to help in their particular area of interest. I hope all families received the invitations and I hope to see you there.
I M Daniel, BA, NPQH
This has been a busy time for Sport. We have seen a number of successes in Cross-Country.
On Thursday afternoon, 9 February, St Andrew’s girls from Years 3 – 11 participated in an ISA Cross Country Qualifier at Rushmoor/St Andrews School against lots of other schools around the region. The first 10 girls in each heat qualified and went through to the championships which will be held on Saturday 5 March in Princethorpe. Well done to everyone involved as it was a very cold day to be waiting around.
A special mention to the qualifiers:
Rosie Foster-Glennon in Year 5, who came a fantastic FIRST place with a time of 8min 29 secs
Amelia Baker in Year 7 who came 4th
Evie Maddison in Year 8 who came 6th
Rosie Bailey in Year 11 who came 8th
Francesca Milburn in Year 11 who came 10th
Anusha Kambli in Year 10 who came 11th
In the County Cross Country Championships, Amelia Baker came 3rd, Rosie Foster-Glennon came 4th, Evie Maddison came 12th, with Rosie Bailey and Anusha Kambli finishing 37th & 39th respectively.
The Music department have been making all kinds of music!! Junior pupils have made and played their own instruments, some learned how to play the ‘dood’, and Year 8 have made a start at playing the violin! The choir are preparing for our joint school choir entry to the Bedfordshire Festival and we hope that parents will be able to support this new venture.
Mrs Howlett, our Catering Manager has given the following feedback from the School Council meeting in January:
“We now have a new menu. This includes nearly all of your requests; I hope you are enjoying the meals. We will try some filled baguettes in the summer term as an alternative to a hot meal. You may notice some changes on vegetables and salads at the moment which is because of the difficulties in growing in some countries like Spain due to the inclement weather. Thank you to all the representatives for your interest and ideas. Keep them coming!”
Walmsley Hall was buzzing at the Junior School Parents’ Evening on Thursday 9 Feb and I hope that the feedback was useful and informative. Thank you to all parents who attended and to Mrs Robinson and Mrs Chinna for staying on, to provide the after care facility. We held a Year 9 Parents’ Evening this week which both parents and girls attended and was a good opportunity to clarify some GCSE option choices and discuss current progress.
V&A ‘You say you want a revolution…..’ Year 10 girls met
Mrs Probets, Mrs Andrews and myself at Bedford Station on Monday morning to embark upon a long day of museum visits. The highlight was the 60’s & 70’s exhibition of pop art and culture of the time at the V&A which included powerful images of how the revolutions taking place changed the way we live today. The exhibition explored the era-defining significance and impact of the late 1960s, expressed through some of the greatest music and performances of the 20th century alongside fashion, film, design and political activism. The Woodstock area gave an opportunity to sit together ‘festival style’ experiencing the sounds of The Who, Jimmy Hendrix and other iconic bands of the time. This all provided excellent stimulus for the next project the girls will undertake in Art. We then moved through to the Geological and Natural History museum followed by the Science Museum where we focused on Evolution, the workings of the Human Body and Space exploration. The day was exhausting, information packed and I hope good fun for everyone. It was quite a salutary experience to find the reminiscences of my own teenage years are seen by the young as a significant period in history!
Junior School are preparing for World Book Day on Thursday 2 March and Year 8 pupils are planning for the forthcoming BBC School News Report day on Thursday 16 March when they will be off timetable to make their own news to real deadlines and broadcast it to real audiences.
Year 11 students will shortly be receiving a timetable for Easter holiday GCSE revision sessions that their subject teachers will be holding in school, in preparation for the examinations in the Summer Term. It is important that they make full use of these and all other opportunities to consolidate their revision.
I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at Open Morning this Saturday 10.00-12.00.
Head of School
List of Letters Week Commencing w/c 6th February 2017 & 20th February
06.02.17 Active Kids Vouchers - All HR
06.02.17 Principals Blog – All ID
08.02.17 Year 8 BBC News Day HR
09.02.17 Bronze Duke of Edinburgh – Year 9 HR
09.02.17 Frontier Trip Final Payment - Year 6/7 AD
09.02.17 Blue Peris Final Payment - Year 8/9 SSt
10.02.17 Year 11 Spoken Language Exams RL
10.02.17 Choir Festival – Choir JF
10.02.17 Mrs Ryan’s Retirement - All ID
20.02.17 Open Morning - All HR
21.02.17 World Thinking Day – All HR/TD
22.02.17 Auction of Promises – All GC
22.02.17 Peter Pans Rehearsals - Cast SSt
22.02.17 Cake Sale 1st March - All SkyDiving
22.02.17 Travel Survey – All HR
3 February 2017
Welcome to my first Principal’s Blog for St Andrew’s School. The blogs will be a mixture of day-to-day life at the school and my own thoughts on educational matters. They will be issued on a fortnightly basis.
Since St Andrew’s and Rushmoor formed their alliance, I have taken more and more of an active role at St Andrew’s School. The best part of this for me is to have the chance to spend time with the students. In the past couple of weeks I have been fortunate to be able to cover some of their lessons and they really seemed to enjoy the content and the learning experience. Enjoyment is a valuable tool when it comes to learning and that is something that stays with us all throughout our lives. If you enjoy something, you will take more from it. Across the alliance I try to promote an environment where students can enjoy their school life. Yes, there will be times when they will struggle, but they should feel happy enough to ask for help and know they are going to get it. There is no question that this type of environment is a key strength for any school.
Recently, I have heard a story about a student at another school who was entered incorrectly for GCSE examinations and has suffered terrible stress because of it. The student had specific learning needs which were not catered for. Staff blamed one another, so nobody was held accountable. Basically, the child got lost in the system. The system is a school that is too large, staff that are overstretched, and a severe lack of pastoral care. The end result is a deeply unhappy child. This should not be allowed to happen anywhere, but it is a reality and I am sure it is not the only one. It highlights why the students here are very fortunate to attend this school and why, as their Principal, I will strive to work for their best interests so we do not have unhappy children.
I firmly believe that students should have a strong and powerful voice in their education. This is why I run the School Voice and I listen to what the students have to say to me. I react to what they say. I also react to what parents say. If I consider changes are needed or something has to be done, it gets done and it gets done quickly. That is my style. I believe in that old saying that if you want something done; then ask a busy person. I work hard to ensure that all the students at St Andrew’s experience a happy school environment. An environment where they can extend their learning away from just the linear approach; yes, they will all learn subject material in the traditional way, but they will also enjoy an environment where they can have deeper learning experiences and are given the opportunities to expand their minds and be happy.
St Andrew’s School has enjoyed different reputations throughout its long history. Originally it was seen as a sort of finishing school for young ladies, where academic achievements were not really cause for concern. It moved on from that to become a school where students were pushed further academically. Now, St Andrew’s is part of a strong alliance and we are working towards an eventual merger to form the diamond model school (albeit frustratingly slowly due to the Borough’s planning department). In the meantime, St Andrew’s is a school that offers students, now both boys and girls, the ideal place to feel welcome, cared for and happy, with access to exceptional pastoral care and excellent teaching and learning. We value the diversity of the students within our care and we work hard with parents to ensure each child fulfils their potential.
I am delighted that the students across the alliance are working together on the production of Peter Pan. I am informed that the rehearsals are going really well. I would like to thank the staff involved; Mrs Stott, Mrs Gittins, Mr Day and Mrs Frost for their hard work and commitment to this project. I would also like to say the same to the students involved, particularly for giving up your free time on Sundays to put in the rehearsal time required. I am very much looking forward to seeing the production in March at the Place Theatre. Look out for information on ticket sales which will be sent out shortly.
On the subject of children flying I would like to mention our skydiving club. As part of inspections (I know, I am an inspector) Ofsted and the ISI look at the extra-curricular activities that the school provides. Not many schools can say they have a skydiving club!
I would like to say thank you to Mr Farnsworth for running this club, together with Ms Robson from Rushmoor, for the children across the alliance. I know they are all enjoying the skydiving, but have also had the chance to meet the Blue Peter presenters and are now the first GB team to be preparing to participate in the World Challenge in April. Fabulous! Well done to all.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mrs Turner for her help with the horse riding club. I know that a number of our students are keen on this particular sport and I am delighted that it is something the school can offer as an extra-curricular activity. I know nothing about horses, although my niece owns two and tries to encourage an interest. Having spoken with her, I know there are school competitions, so in future I would love to see our students competing in these. This is an area where we can develop further if the students so wish.
Well done to Lindsey Gifford, Emma Grieve and Zeynep Salerno who are taking part in the Active Girls Challenge at Kempston Outdoor Centre. This is an eight week course which will includes yoga, body combat and spinning (one of my favourite fitness activities nowadays). It is an excellent opportunity for them to participate in a variety of sports and I am sure they will have a great time doing so. I want some feedback girls!
Another area I would like to encourage more is swimming. We have the opportunity to get more of our students involved in squad swimming at Trinity Pool. It is free and something I would really like our students to think about joining in. Please contact my PA if you would like more details on 01234 352031. I went to the swimming at Robinson Pool this week to watch and there are some top quality swimmers amongst the students, which is really pleasing. On that note I would like to say well done to Ella Stone who won a silver and bronze medal in the County Championships last weekend at Inspire Luton - great achievement Ella.
As a keen sportsman I have tried many different activities over the years. One of the most enjoyable was attending karate, where I achieved my brown belt. It is such a great discipline and I am delighted that it is offered as an extra-curricular club to students from Reception to Year 11. I hope the students currently attending are enjoying the experience and I would encourage others to join them. Please contact Mrs Cox in the school’s reception if you would like to sign up.
Gymnastics is another great discipline and has become more popular since the wonderful successes of our Team GB athletes at the Olympics in 2012 and 2016. I have a young daughter who loves showing me her cartwheels and I know it is a sport that youngsters enjoy. I am pleased the students at St Andrew’s have the opportunity to attend gymnastics sessions at the school and I would again encourage participation. Again please contact Mrs Cox if you would like to join in.
I would also remind students that they can participate in netball as an enrichment activity. Please contact Miss Holyoak if you would like to attend. I would like to say a huge well done to Amelia Baker and Rosie Bailey for their great running at the District Cross-Country Competition. Amelia was awarded third place in an excellent run.
Congratulations to Amelia Baker, Year 7, Rosie Foster-Glennon, Year 5, Evie Maddison, Year 8, Anusha Kambli, year 10 and Rosie Bailey, Year 11 who have all qualified for the County Cross Country.
Our sports teams are getting stronger and stronger and this can only improve with more participation. I will be actively encouraging the students to participate. Please do speak to me if there are any extra-curricular clubs or enrichment opportunities you would like to be considered at the Parents’ Council ( if you are unable to attend these please do email Mrs Heaney). My ultimate aim for sport in school is to encourage fitness and for the children to find something they enjoy and will continue into adult life in order to achieve a healthier lifestyle.
I take sport seriously, so I am off to Boston over half-term as part of a working team from the UK who are representatives from the Legacy of the Olympics Committee (LOC). I am Vice-Chair of the Bedfordshire Committee and this is an opportunity for me to liaise with my counterparts in the United States to see how sport can be used to enrich the lives of children. We are visiting five schools over the course of the week, which is a great opportunity for me to also look at other areas in the American education system that may be of benefit to us.
Moving on to another area I feel passionately about – food. I am delighted that our new Food Technology teacher at Rushmoor has agreed to offer an extra-curricular opportunity at St Andrew’s. She is running a ‘Great British Bake Off’ inspired club, which the students seem to be really enjoying. There are places still available for this club, so if any student would like to join in, please contact Mrs Cox to book a place. I believe Food Technology is a really important subject and cooking is a valuable life skill that should not be underestimated. My mother was a Domestic Science teacher and I learnt cooking from her. It stood me in good stead for my university days and beyond! In recent years, girls have seemed to step away from the GCSE, but I do hope that the students coming up through the middle years will reconsider this as a serious option and that clubs like this will help to inspire them.
Schools are not just judged on their academic success, but their sporting provision and the arts. I consider Music to be a really important part of school life. I particularly encourage students to try becoming a member of the choir. Singing is uplifting and being a member of a choir is really great socially too. I covered a music lesson recently, which was a bit of a last minute thing, so I had to think on my feet. We ended up singing some popular tunes and I know the students really loved the lesson from the feedback I received. So, why don’t they join the choir and try singing the music they like? I would love to hear them – particularly our senior girls – at another music concert like we had last summer. Anybody interested in joining the choir, let me know.
At one of the meetings of the Student Voice, I was advised that the students would like to see cheerleading introduced as an extra-curricular activity. As I said earlier, I believe that our students should raise their ideas with the leadership team and I am delighted that cheerleading will now be introduced for Years 9 and 10 and will then filter down to the other age groups.
I have also taken on board the comments made at the Student Voice meeting about a variety of menu ideas for school lunches. The group was invited to meet with the Catering Manager to discuss the ideas and their views are being considered. We are also considering their views in relation to the tuck shop and they have even had their input regarding the curriculum timetable for next year.
Our Year 9 pupils had an information evening regarding their options for GCSE recently. This is a very important decision for the students to make and I hope that the evening helped. Final option choices will need to be made by 6 March so there is still plenty of time to consider everything. Please do feel free to contact teachers to discuss any queries you have. Alternatively, Mr Jones is happy to chat things through and can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org
The Duke of Edinburgh Award is something that I personally believe is extremely worthwhile. Indeed, I have encouraged my two sons to do this and one is now working towards his gold award, the other towards his silver. It is something that is highly regarded when seen on your curriculum vitae by further educational establishments and employers. It shows commitment and determination. Vitally important in today’s fast moving world! I would strongly encourage our senior girls to take on board this challenge and we will provide them with all the assistance they require. Please contact email@example.com for further advice.
I was delighted that we were able to introduce the new Sixth Form this academic year. The Sixth Form is really functioning well at Fenwick House and I know the students are really enjoying their new freedoms. They are also working hard on their subjects and understand the importance of striving to achieve their best. I hear lots of talk about universities and different courses and it is great to hear the sixth formers considering their post-18 education so seriously.
We have been delighted to introduce the current Year 11 girls and boys to Fenwick House and talk to them about their next steps after GCSEs. They enjoyed spending time having subject taster sessions and talking to the current Year 12s about how things are different in the A-level years. I know that they are considering their options and I know they will benefit from the nurturing environment at our very own Sixth Form. Lots of the Sixth Formers are enjoying being involved with the wider school communities at St Andrew’s and Rushmoor. They are running clubs for the younger children as part of their volunteering work for the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award and helping out in whole school events and fundraising activities. I also know that the Sixth Formers thoroughly enjoy the many enrichment opportunities they get involved with. Directly after half-term the geographers are off to Swanage for a few days where they will take part in field studies and lectures in a purpose built facility. Overall, the Sixth Form is a great addition to the alliance and I hope that the St Andrew’s girls will take full advantage of having it, particularly because I’ve been hearing even more about budgetary cuts in the county this week and post-16 education will be the first to be hit, which is very worrying. I would be delighted to give a personal tour of the Sixth Form during lesson time for you as parents to get a flavour of the wonderful teaching and learning in the setting. Bursaries and scholarships are available for the Sixth form.
Mrs Djukic is now fully embedded in her role as Head of Junior School across the alliance. She splits her time equally between the two sites and I know that she is ably supported by Mrs van der Sande and the full junior school and nursery team here at St Andrew’s. I wanted to include this picture of Mrs Djukic chatting to the children during an assembly last term. I think it sums up St Andrew’s School well. I love to see the way in which the children are all fully engaged with their teacher. As one of the leadership team, Mrs Djukic is not just a teacher and in many other schools in her role, she would not necessarily know the children so well and interact with them at this level. I think it is wonderful to have senior leadership at shop floor level to fully understand how a school ticks, which is why this picture sums up St Andrew’s School so well for me.
I am extremely proud of our nursery provision. They have worked exceptionally hard to be judged as outstanding by Ofsted and to be the winners of the national award for excellence in provision judged by the ISI. I enjoy visiting the nursery and seeing all the happy children there. I would now like to see more of those children moving onto the junior school and beyond because I know they will continue to thrive in the environment that the alliance can provide. Mrs Djukic is always happy to talk to parents about their options in this respect and can be contacted at any time on firstname.lastname@example.org. Please remember bursaries are available subject to status.
I hope that all our students have a very enjoyable half-term break. In my next blog I will update all parents on the new school at Clapham Park. Please note I am always open to ideas for the blog, so please do inform the SLT team if you would like to see an area of the school featured more.
I M Daniel, BA, NPQH
Internet Safety Assemblies
As part of our Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education programme and our commitment to promoting the safe and responsible use of the internet, pupils in Years 3-6 have participated in Internet Safety Assemblies. These have been taken by Richard Denton, the Children and Young People Development Officer & Schools Co-ordinator for Bedfordshire Police. The sessions were extremely informative and have generated many questions.
Richard Denton will be delivering a joint St Andrew’s and Rushmoor Parent Information Evening in the Spring. In the meantime, if you would like any further information please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Djukic or your child’s class teacher.
The chicks have been and gone!
Mrs Russell was happy to report that all ten eggs safely hatched. Reception class were very excited about the new arrivals and were taking great care to look after the chicks. In fact they proved to be popular with all the Junior classes who were eager to spend time with them.
The chicks have definitely added excitement to the Junior School! The children learned not only about life cycles but also how to care for animals – a truly morale-boosting experience which makes learning fun.
On Wednesday 25 January Year 11 pupils from both schools attended a Sixth Form information afternoon at Fenwick House. They were split into small groups to look around the Sixth Form with Year 12 on hand to answer any questions. The aim was to give our Year 11 students the chance to see how Sixth Form life differs to their GCSE years. It was a great opportunity for them to ask questions about subject choices and find out just how much work is involved in post-16 education. All I spoke to enjoyed the experience and I thank Mr Swannell and the Sixth Form students for providing a most interesting and informative visit.
On Thursday 26 January St Andrews school participated in the Cross Country at Priory Country Park. Although it was a bit brisk outside, the conditions were perfect for a day of running There were dozens of schools that turned up to run so there was a brilliant atmosphere. Rosie Foster-Glennon held 1st place for the majority of the race, but just towards the end she lost her shoe and fell back one place to finish 2nd. Kasey Darnton was 21st and then Shannon, Ruby, Lottie, Ella, Sophie all got placed better than previous years. From Year 7 Amelia Baker had to run 2.2km and Evie Maddison in Year 8 ran 2.4km. They both ran a strong race all the way round. Amelia was placed 4th and Evie 5th. What a fabulous afternoon of achievement!
Success continued this week, when fifteen girls took part in X-Country at Sharnbrook and five made it through to the District finals next Wednesday; Rosie Foster-Glennon(5th), Amelia Baker(3rd), Evie Maddison(14th), Anusha Kambli(15th) and Rosie Bailey (10th). Well done to all who took part in characteristically muddy conditions and good luck to the qualifiers for next week!
Well done to Ella Stone in Year 6 for achieving Silver and Bronze medals at the Bedfordshire swimming championships last weekend.
We are increasing the extra-curricular clubs after school and this term has seen further opportunities. For those who enjoy cooking, Claire Couzens is running a ‘Bake off’ club in the Food Technology Room every Monday after school. Sue Birchall from Falcon runs our Gym club on Wednesdays after school. Numbers are increasing every week and the inflatable tumbling lane she brought along last week proved very popular - I resisted the temptation to have a go!
A group of senior girls have taken up the opportunity to join youngsters from around the county to take part in the Active Girls initiative which includes activities such as climbing wall and keep fit at Kempston Outdoor Centre. They will be taking part in a variety of activities over the next 8 weeks, including yoga, body combat and spinning. Have fun girls!
There is also a new joint Photography Club on Tuesdays, 4.00-5.00 at Rushmoor for Years 8, 9 & 10. Mr Childs will be helping the students with photography techniques and encouraging them to see life through a lens.
Please collect the Sainsbury’s Active Kids Vouchers and send them into school. This year we are collecting them to buy fun playground equipment for Junior School. Many thanks.
Our next Open Morning is on Saturday 25 February 10.00-12.00 and we hope to welcome as many of you, your friends and families as possible to look around the school. Nursery families are also invited to a Stay and Play session on the same morning.
The bi-annual Auction of Promises, being held on Friday 17 March, is fast approaching. We are still in need of promises, so no matter how large or small please contact Gina Ciuro by email email@example.com or phone 01234 352031. This event is to raise funds to purchase equipment for the children. At present we are looking to purchase more computers for both St Andrew’s and Rushmoor School.
A ‘Head Teacher’s Award’ has been presented to Ava Hendry (Year 4) for superb time telling. She has worked hard to add hours and minutes using both analogue and digital time. Isabella Milner-Mclean (Year 5) also earned an award for her excellent efforts in Maths. Well done to both girls!
With very best wishes,
List of Letters
Week Commencing w/c 16th January 2017
16.01.17 Year 9 Consultation Evening SSt
17.01.17 KS4 Options Evening – Year 9 AJ
17.01.17 A Level Taster Sessions – Year 11 IS
19.01.17 Bake Off Club – Years 7-10 CC
19.01.17 Year 10 Geography Field Trip HR
20.01.17 Year 11 Sam Quek Event SW
Week Commencing w/c 23rd January 2017
23.01.17 Internet Safety Letter – Juniors TD
23.01.17 Apple Watches and Mobile Phones – All ID
23.01.17 Junior School Consultation Evening TD
23.01.17 Year 6 ‘Changes’ Letters TD
24.01.17 Open Morning HR
24.01.17 Photography Club – Years 8, 9 & 10 Rushmoor
26.01.17 Frontier Centre Final Payment – Years 6&7 AD
26.01.17 Year 11 VLE Documents AJ
27.01.17 Year 7 Cookery HW
27.01.17 Year 8 Cookery HW
27.01.17 Year 9 Cookery HW
27.01.17 Peter Pan Rehearsal Schedule - Cast SSt
Following the wonderful end of term Nativity and Christmas plays, our Carol Service, Junior sleepover, Christmas jumpers and a host of parties, I hope that everyone had plenty of energy left to enjoy the festive season. The New Year is well upon us and I hope that it will bring our children the joy, progress and successes that we all wish for them.
If I have not had the chance to speak to you personally, I would like to thank you on behalf of the school community for all the cards, treats and good wishes that you kindly sent in to school. They are very much appreciated.
I also would like to say thank you to Mr Daniel, Madame Thiebeaux, and Miss Thompson for taking a number of St Andrew’s families and pupils on the very successful ski trip. Mr Daniel shared some moments from the trip in his Year 3-11 assembly about ‘Having it all – enrichment opportunities.’ Next year’s ski trip is booking up fast.
The term began on Wednesday with a training day for the Staff to which we were pleased to welcome the Chair of Governors, Mr Bates. Some staff undertook minibus training for the new light minibus purchased by the joint schools’ Parents’ Association which will increase our capacity to take groups on trips and visits, whilst keeping public transport costs down.
Senior pupils received reports before Christmas and parents’ consultation evenings are all set to follow this term. Our Year 11 girls completed their GCSE mocks before Christmas and families have already met with teachers to discuss targets, revision strategies and level of independent learning required over the next five months. To leave nothing to chance Mr Jones has put together an excellent folder of advice and information which will be an invaluable resource as the girls approach their examinations.
The St Andrew’s and Rushmoor skydive club has been a hugely successful addition to our extra-curricular provision, and the Skydive Recruitz Team has now officially started training. Preparations are being made for the Indoor Skydiving World Challenge, in April, where the team will become the first GB youth team to compete in this international competition.
The pupils have learnt how to ‘fly’ in the wind tunnel, at Twinwoods Adventure, and can control their movements with amazing control. The competition will involve creating set formations within a given time period, and judges will score how successful these formations are.
The boys and girls have worked very hard over the past few months and the progress they have made is amazing.
The team is currently looking for potential sponsors, so that essential initial equipment can be bought, and anyone who feels that this may be of interest to them should contact the school.
Pupil Council Representatives
We are pleased to confirm that our School Pupil Council Representatives for this year are:
Year 3&4 Stephanie Smith
Year 5 Floriana Sansevero
Year 6 Isabelle Clegg
Year 7 Chiamaka Oriaku
Year 8 Ella Wing
Year 9 Eleanor Williams-McCabe
Year 10 Amie Gray
Year 11 Annabelle Grayham-Ormes
This is a very important role and the representatives had their first meeting with Mr Daniel on Tuesday to discuss ideas and decide on the most effective ways to change and improve our school. Following up from one of the suggestions, they then met with our Kitchen Manager, Mrs Howlett, to discuss menu preferences and ideas about making school lunches even more appealing, nutritious and delicious! Mrs Howlett was impressed by the excellent suggestions and she will be looking to incorporate some of these in future menu planning.
Junior School - a word from Mrs Djukic
Welcome to a brand new and exciting year at St Andrew’s Junior School. It is lovely to see the pupils again and hear all their exciting news! I am sure that this term will prove to be as eventful as the last.
Stibbington World War 2 Evacuation Day
Year 6 joined forces with Rushmoor pupils on Monday and spent a day at Stibbington Centre in Cambridgeshire recreating life in 1940’s Britain. Pupils experienced the day-to-day lives of children evacuated to the countryside during the war and learned to empathise with them.
A fabulous time was had by all! This was hands-on active learning at its best, expanding and consolidating the history curriculum in a meaningful way. The girls thoroughly enjoyed a whole day of practical learning outside.
A fabulous time was had by all! This was hands-on active learning at its best, expanding and consolidating the history curriculum in a meaningful way. The girls thoroughly enjoyed a whole day of practical learning outside.
Enrichment clubs have recommenced this week and details were emailed to parents. If you would like any further information please contact Mrs Helen Boland firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please find attached the programmes of Clubs and Activities for this term, copies of which have also been distributed to the children. Please encourage your child to take advantage of the range of activities on offer to enrich their skills and experience. It is also of benefit to do an activity with a group of people, different from their usual friendship group, to increase the number of friends they share their interests with.
I am looking all the time to improve and develop the school experience for our pupils and our satisfaction from parents. Your feedback and suggestions are very important and to that end, may I encourage you to attend the next Parent Council meeting on Friday 27th January at 9.00am.
6th Form – a word from Mr Daniel
We will be holding an A Level Taster Evening on Tuesday 7th February 2017 4.15pm-6pm in Fenwick House and would urge all our Year 11 pupils at Rushmoor and St Andrew’s to attend. Attending our Sixth Form is obviously beneficial to them in terms of continuity in their education at this critical point, but even if their plans at this stage are different, I believe they would benefit greatly from this evening to give them an idea of the subject content involved in A Level and Btec studies.
With very best wishes,
List of Letters
09.01.17 Aftercare Tea Arrangements TD
09.01.17 Year 1 Show and Tell KT
09.01.17 Year 11 Taster Sessions HR
09.01.17 Year 7 Parents Consultation Evening SSt
09.01.17 Year 3&4 Natural History Museum Trip NvdS
12.01.17 Adverse Weather Arrangements - All HR
12.01.17 Auction of Promises – All PTFA
13.01.17 Year 7 Cookery HW
13.01.17 Year 8 Cookery HW
13.01.17 Year 9 Cookery HW
13.01.17 Year 10 Cookery HW
There was a great atmosphere at the joint Rushmoor and St Andrew’s Winter Fayre held on Saturday 27 November. I would like to thank pupils from Nursery to 6th Form, parents, staff and especially the PTFA volunteers with Mrs Ciuro and Mrs White who all contributed their time and energy towards making this a most enjoyable and successful event. The association raised an impressive £3,000, which will be put to good use by the PTFA to benefit the pupils at both schools.
The whole school, including Mr Bates and Mr Daniel, enjoyed a wonderful St Andrew's Day assembly on Tuesday morning, celebrating 120 years of St Andrew's School. The hall was decked with St Andrew’s bunting made by the pupils and with messages about what St Andrew’s means to them. It was a time for reflection on how the school started and what life was like for some of the earliest pupils. As well as photos from the archives we were treated to some drama pieces from Year 10 depicting life in the school in days gone by. Mr Jones united his passion for History with his enthusiasm for the school archive, linking major historical events to the 120 year timeline of the school. A special ‘thankyou’ has to go to one of our current parents, Mrs Annette Hendry, who is a former pupil and who shared ‘some of the best days of her life’ with us. She was Head Girl in 1991 and her words about school times and friendships struck a familiar note and are attached if you would like to read them.
Well done to all those involved who reminded us that we are part of such a wonderful school with such a long heritage.
Wednesday found us at St Paul’s Church for the Christmas Tree Festival. Years 3 to 6 pupils delighted the audience with a wonderful selection of festive carols and songs, conducted by Mrs Trunchion and Mr Farnsworth. Their young voices resonated beautifully through the twinkling Christmas tree lined nave of the Church. Jelena Ilic and Sophie Woods accompanied the choir and Isabelle Clegg gave a moving solo performance. Well done to all.
What a great evening we had on Thursday 1st December at the Bunyan Centre for indoor athletics. Year 5 and 6 girls Amelia Creasey, Ella Stone, Rosie Foster-Glennon, Kasey Darnton, Ruby and Shannon Ryall all joined with the boys to be 1 of 14 schools to compete in running and field events, relays in teams, obstacle courses, speed bounce, long jump, triple jump, vertical jump and ball throw; to name a few events the girls joined in with. The girls had all been regular, dedicated attendees of indoor athletics club every Monday since September. All girls had tried hard to improve for all these events every week. Well done girls it was a really competitive evening. Ms Pearce would like to thank Mrs Ryall for providing treats and childcare.
Year 11 began a week of mock GCSE exams on Friday and we hope that this will be an invaluable experience for the girls and help to ensure that they are fully prepared for the summer examinations.
We have received some sad news which will be of interest to the Old Girls of the school that ex-Headmistress, Dorothea Pemberton (previously Mrs Rushworth), has passed away. She took over from Miss Bell and we believe that she actually lived in the building when there were boarders. She is remembered for successfully moving the school forward and introducing a modern, balanced curriculum.
I was pleased to present a Head Teacher’s Award last week to Amelie Walsh in Year 3 for Maths. She has mastered a tricky concept and now there is no stopping her! Well done Amelie.
Well done also to Ellie Stroud in Year 7 for raising a total of £70 for the Alzheimer's Society, with her sponsored silence. It is always great when pupils take the initiative to organise a charitable project like this for themselves.
In this penultimate week of term we are sending out reports for our Senior year groups, watching long awaited performances of nativities and Christmas shows in EYFS and Junior School, and looking forward to a host of festivities in the final week including our annual Carol Service on Wednesday 14th December at 17.00 at St Andrew’s Church.
Good luck to our swimmers competing at the BMS pool today and all the best to those departing on the ski trip in the early hours of Saturday morning.
With very best wishes,
Head of School
List of Letters Week Commencing; 28th Nov 2016
28.11.16 Year 6 Cookery HW
29.11.16 KS1 Christmas Party TD/EN
29.11.16 Mixed Hockey Finals SH
29.11.16 Christmas 2016 – Juniors TD
29.11.16 Christmas Performance DVD JF
29.11.16 Zumba Club – Juniors KT
30.11.16 Year 8 Blue Peris Residential SSt
01.12.16 Year 11 Christmas Party lunch RL
01.12.16 Gymnastics Club – Years 5-10 JB-G
02.12.16 Sky Diving Spring Term JF
02.12.16 Year 7 Cookery HW
02.12.16 Year 10 Cookery HW
This week the whole school have been involved in Anti-bullying Week activities which this year has the theme of ‘power for good’. In Senior School in Lifetracks and Drama lessons, Year 7 girls have been putting together their own short plays suggesting how to use their ‘power for good’ in the playground. These will be performed to Years 3&4 pupils.
Year 9 have included an advice page in their magazine writing project for English and they took part in role play scenarios in Lifetracks about isolation and how we all have a duty to be inclusive. They will be seeing a performance of ‘Chelsea’s Choice’ on Tuesday - a powerful workshop production illustrating issues around child exploitation. Year 10 girls have prepared an assembly for Years 5&6 about cyber-bullying, highlighting the importance of strong privacy settings, and Year 11 pupils have explored personal safety issues in the light of Alcohol Awareness Week.
Sports teams have taken part in a number of games fixtures this week: Years 5&6 played their first hockey fixture vs Broughton Manor and although they didn’t win, it was a very close game and provided a good learning experience. Years 7&8 netball vs Webber school in Milton Keynes played a hard fought match and they drew 11 all. Well done to all players. Years 7&8 played in the District netball tournament held at BGS yesterday. They won 1, drew 1 and lost 2 and again, they played really well especially in the wet and blustery conditions.
We are very proud to congratulate our EYFS provision for winning the ISA award for Excellence and Innovation and Rushmoor School for winning the award for Outstanding Contribution to Sport. Ms Emma Niro, Ms Louise Dempsey and Mr Sam Richbell were presented with their awards on Friday evening at the ISA Award ceremony officated by the actor Sean Williamson (AKA Barry from Eastenders!!) The EYFS certificate and glass engraved trophy are on display in the Walmsley House entrance hall.
The Book Fair is proving to be a great success with both our pupils and parents. Packed with hundreds of the best children’s books from award-winners and the newest titles to pocket-money pick-ups and treasured classics, it is the perfect opportunity to stock up on Christmas presents. If you have not yet had the opportunity to come and browse, the fair will continue until Wednesday 23rd November so hurry! The range includes picture books, early readers, chapter books, books for reluctant readers, older fiction, non-fiction, home learning and lots more. It’s a range you can trust too – every book is carefully read and selected by the Scholastic Book Buying Team.
Children in Need
A huge ‘thank you’ to all our parents and friends who attended our charity coffee morning in aid of Children in Need. Your kind donations raised £200 and together with the money from our other fundraising activities during the day raised a magnificent total of £380 for a very worthwhile cause. Our Junior School Representative Jelena Ilic and Heads of House Ella Stone, Roma Kealy and Ruby Ryall spoke very eloquently about the important work done by the charity and how the money collected will be used to help many children in desperate need of help.
The Senior House Captains put on a Teddy Bear’s pageant at lunchtime which saw a photo booth, ‘statues’ (Miss Dabell’s speciality), more cake, a bit of a disco and a Bear Show complete with judging panel. There was a great atmosphere in the hall and we thank Madame Tribe and the organisers very much for a great day of fund raising.
Coming up this week we have Years 4, 5 and 6 girls travelling to a swimming competition in Barnet – good luck to the team!
Olympic athlete Derek Redmond will be coming to take our assembly on Friday. This is a great opportunity and is all thanks to a prize that Sophie Woods in Year 6 was awarded for winning a rowing competition during the summer holidays.
Finally a reminder that the Rushmoor and St Andrew’s Christmas Fayre takes place this Saturday 26th 11.30-13.30 at the Rushmoor site – there will be stalls, tombola, mulled wine, bbq, cake stall, Santa’s grotto and lots of festive cheer. All are welcome and all support for this joint event is gratefully received!
Also, please make sure that you have our St Andrew’s Carol Service date in your diaries: Wednesday 14th December, 17.00 at St Andrew’s Church.
Head of School
List of Letters Week Commencing w/c 14th Nov 2016
14.11.16 Year 6 Cookery HW
14.11.16 Reception – Year 6 Christmas Performance DVD TD
15.11.16 Chellington Trip – Year 2 TD
15.11.16 Year 11 Maths Mock Papers DJ
16.11.16 School of Rock Trip – Years 7, 8, & 9 JF
16.11.16 Year 5&6 Indoor Athletics Competition – 1st Dec JP
16.11.16 Year 7&8 District Netball – 21st Nov SH
16.11.16 Reception 2017 – Pre School TD/EN
17.11.16 Year 7 Cookery HW
17.11.16 Year 10 Cookery HW
18.11.16 Christmas Sleepover – Years 3, 4, 5 & 6 TD
18.11.16 Year 3&4 Tennis Competition – 12th Dec JP
The week has flown by with Year 5 zooming around on their bikes getting some great instruction from the ‘Bikeability’ team. At the first ever Sixth Form consultation evening for Year 12 students, feedback on all A level subjects was very positive The young people are enjoying the freedoms that Sixth Form offers to them, whilst still being engaged with the whole school community. Thanks to Mr Swannell, Head of Sixth Form, and Miss Rayer, Sixth Form Co-ordinator, together with all the Sixth Form teachers for ensuring the launch has gone well.
On Thursday evening we were pleased to welcome back our 2015-16 Year 11 pupils and their families to a presentation of their GCSE certificates. It was a good opportunity to reacquaint with old friends, celebrate successes and share news about what everyone has been doing since the summer. Thank you to Dr David Pacini who kindly presented the certificates and shared his advice to the girls for a happy and successful future. We also welcomed Mr Graham Bates, Mr Ian Daniel, plus teachers and particular thanks to Mrs Suzi Stott for her amusing anecdotes of Year 11’s exploits and Mrs Sheila Heaney for organising such a lovely occasion.
Mr Ashley Jones led our Senior School Remembrance Assembly on Friday, assisted by Lola, Amie, Jessica and Annabelle. During the two minute silence, the school stood together in honour of those who have fought for their country.
Bikeability has been taking place this week for Year 5. The girls did extremely well; gaining in confidence and becoming competent cyclists. Thank you to Mr Farnsworth for organising this event.
Grendon Hall Visit – parent meeting
Thank you to all parents who attended this meeting. The pupils are very excited about this residential trip!
Junior Spanish Club
Mr Ferrer Ferrando, has started a beginners Junior Spanish club at lunchtimes on Friday for Years 3 to 6. If your daughter would like to participate in this club please email email@example.com.
I was delighted to attend the Autumn ISA Conference on Friday evening to represent St Andrew’s, together with Mr Daniel, Mrs Djukic, Ms Niro, Mrs Dempsey and Mr Richbell. Three schools were shortlisted for each ISA Awards category. Early Years provision was first category up and we were all thrilled when Sam Williamson (‘Barry’ from Eastenders!!) announced that the winning school was St Andrew’s for excellence and innovation in their EYFS provision. Ms Niro and Mrs Dempsey were presented with a certificate and glass engraved trophy which is already on display in the Walmsley House entrance hall.
Rushmoor success followed, achieving the award for outstanding contribution to sport. So it was a wonderful evening because both schools won national awards in highly competitive fields. These awards only come as the result of a great team effort and everyone involved is to be highly congratulated on the important part they have played in these achievements.
The week ahead is another full one with the Sixth Form Open Evening on Wednesday 16th November from 7-9pm which is for all parents who may be interested to attend with Year 10 & 11 pupils. We hope that girls will want to continue their education into the Sixth Form now, with a smooth transition to Fenwick House, where they will continue to receive the excellent education, enrichment, support and pastoral care they are accustomed to.
Children in Need mufti day and fundraising events are on Friday and we look forward to lots of spotty costumes and cake!
Any tombola prizes you feel able to donate for the Winter Fayre will also be most gratefully received, throughout the week.
I am pleased to present a Head Teacher’s Award this week to Mia Gross in Year 4 for Maths. She has been positive and pro-active in lessons and really using her number knowledge well to help with her work. Well done Mia!
All the best for the week ahead,
Head of School
List of Letters Week Commencing w/c 7th Nov 2016
07.11.16 Frontier Residential Trip – Years 6&7 AD
08.11.16 Winter Uniform - All HR
08.11.16 Children In Need – Rec – Y6 TD
10.11.16 Book Fair – Junior School KT
10.11.16 Winter Fayre – Raffle & Tombola - All HR
11.11.16 Year 5&6 Hockey Fixtures PE
11.11.16 Year 7&8 Netball Fixture PE
Year 6 enjoyed some of the awe and wonder of science, thanks to Miss Dabell’s ‘chemical reactions’ demonstrations, from holding a flame to making elephant’s toothpaste!
Black History Workshop
St Andrew’s School and Rushmoor School teamed up this year to honour Black History Month. Mrs Hudson-Lett ran a fascinating morning of workshops for Year 5 and 6. Staff and pupils gathered together for an introduction then split into mixed groups throughout the morning taking part in a variety of thought provoking activities. The workshops covered black history, role play and drama around the slave trade, music by Sancho, storytelling about a young person coming to England from the Caribbean and a crossword competition. Pupils examined the work of famous black people and inventors and learnt about British Black History. They also learnt a great deal about overcoming adversity and really enjoyed the interactive morning.
Parent Consultation Evening
Thank you to all our parents for attending the Junior School Consultation Evening.
KS1 Lion King Trip
As part of their Africa project, Year 1 and 2 pupils enjoyed a fabulous trip to watch the world-famous Lion King production at the Lyceum Theatre in London. This was a truly magical experience full of glorious colour, stunning effects and, of course, amazing songs! The dazzling staging and highly imaginative costumes, masks and puppets, brought to life the story of Simba’s epic journey to fulfil his destiny as King of the Pridelands in a very memorable way.
Two new Key Stage 1 clubs will be starting after the half term break. Mrs Frost will be doing a Music Club on Thursdays after school from 3.20 pm to 3.50 pm which will take place in the Music Room situated in the Junior building. Children will be dismissed from the Junior Entrance. Mrs Thomas will be offering a Ball Skills Club on Mondays after school from 3.20 pm to 4.00 pm which will take place in the main school gym. Children will be dismissed from the blue door on the main school site. Both clubs will start from Monday 7 November. If your child is in Year 1 or Year 2 and you would like them to take part in either of these clubs please inform Mrs Boland as soon as possible. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. As you are aware, Junior Drama Club will be at St Andrew's School next half-term. This will take place in the Drama Studio on the main school site. For further details, please contact Mrs Stott.
Congratulations to Isabelle Clegg (Distinction) & Sienna Mehmi (Merit) for their LAMDA awards in Speaking Verse and Prose. Well done girls!
Thank you to all the pupils who rallied to the cause and contributed to the fundraising quest by colouring in pictures of the Simpsons. We hope to be able to post photos of the decorated plane and hotel on our Facebook page soon.
Thank you to those of you who took the time to complete the parental survey. I very much appreciate the feedback. It has been very helpful for us to canvass your views. The responses were very positive with the standard of behaviour and the range of extra-curricular activities scoring highly. Below I have included a few further points of celebration where, from survey results, you think we are doing a good job.
· 91% of those who replied feel that the school has handled well any concerns that parents have had.
· 93% are pleased with their child’s progress and feel that their child is safe and happy at school.
· 96% judge the range of subject and experiences to be appropriate.
· 98% would be happy to recommend the school to another parent.
Although we only received a small number of negative responses, we do take these very seriously and I would like to reassure parents that we will do everything we can to rectify any concerns they have. Therefore, please do feel free to contact me to discuss your views made on the survey or any other matters you would like to bring to the school’s attention.
Our next Parent Council meeting is on Friday 20th January at 09.00 and this is another forum at which to share concerns and ideas.
On the Friday before half term, in the early hours, Year 11 girls joined their counterparts from Rushmoor for a trip to Iceland. The tour started with a swim in the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon Spa. This was followed by a full day escorted tour of the South Shore with a brief stop at Hveragerði with its greenhouses before proceeding east through small villages and farmlands to the majestic mountains towering over the coast, including Hekla, the country’s most active volcano and the towering, ice capped strato volcano Eyjafjallajökull. They visited the beautifully sited settlement of Vik and the 200ft high Skógafoss waterfall and then continued on to Seljalandsfoss waterfall to compare differing formations. This was followed by an investigation of the coastal processes and wave characteristics along the black volcanic beaches and basalt-columned cliffs of the Dyrhólaey coast.
They also visited Strokkur, the most famous and active geyser in Iceland. Finally, they visited Þingvellir National Park and walked through its dramatic canyon which is the only place in the world where the Mid Atlantic Ridge can be observed above sea level. It was a jammed packed schedule, but well worth it! Thank you to the organiser, Mr Swannell, and Mrs Ross and Ms Probets for accompanying the trip and ensuring that the group had a wonderful experience and a great time.
On our return from Half Term:
Tom and the Trolls Workshop
The Junior School were treated to a wonderful performance of Tom and the Trolls on Monday afternoon as part of their PSHE curriculum. The story focused on how Tom tried to manage his friendships and it will be the basis of our PSHE work in the coming weeks.
Junior Music Assembly
Mrs Frost gave a music assembly to the whole Junior School on Friday. Thank you to our talented girls: Lily Hearne, Emma Grieve, Sarita Whitehead, Emily Boulton, Jorja Bell, Jelena Ilic and Ella Stone for some very enjoyable performances.
Playground Buddy Armbands
Our hard-working and reliable Playground Buddies Rosie Foster-Glennon, Octavia Bogacki and Olivia Sepede were given their arm bands this week.
We have seen a busy week in Senior School. Our Year 7&8 netball team have begun their league season with determination, in a higher league due to last year’s unbeaten season, and had a closely fought match against Daubeney School this week, which resulted in an excellent game and a close defeat. Players of the match were Shelby Gwiza and Evie Madison. Well done to all players.
On Tuesday evening we held a Year 10 Parent’s Evening, thank you to all who attended, and on Thursday evening Year 11 girls attended mock interviews. These were with experienced volunteers from the world of work and education, who led them through an individual 15 minute interview and then gave feedback and constructive advice in a de-brief. All of the girls did a great job and I was particularly impressed to see the encouragement and support they gave each other. Thank you very much to Mrs Stott and Mr Jones and our volunteers, for organising this invaluable opportunity.
Mr Morrish met with pupils wishing to start, or continue to work towards their Duke of Edinburgh Award and we look forward to the continued success of this programme, which is valued and recognised as being very worthwhile, character building and great fun!
The lead up to Christmas time is always a busy time and this year is no different so I have listed some key dates for your diary:
Thursday 10 November, 7.00pm – GCSE Certificate Presentation Evening – New Hall Wednesday
16 – 23 November – Book Fair Friday
18 November – Children in Need – Mufti, coffee and cake morning for parents in Junior School
Saturday 26 November, 11.00am – Christmas Fayre at Rushmoor
Tuesday 29 November, 9.00am – St Andrew’s Day assembly
Monday 5 December, 9.00am – Nativity dress rehearsal – Junior School
Thursday 8 December, 9.15am – Nativity performance – Junior School
Friday 9 December, 2.00pm – Nativity performance – Junior School
Monday 12 December, 2.00pm – Junior Christmas party (Pre-school to Year 2)
Tuesday 13 December, 12.15pm and 12.45pm – Christmas Lunch – Walmsley Hall
Wednesday 14 December, 5.00pm – Carol Service – St Andrew’s Church
Wishing you all a safe and fun packed ‘Guy Fawkes’ weekend.
Head of School
Clarion messages to parents
List of Letters Week Commencing w/c 10th Oct 2016
10.10.16 Hazard Alley Trip – Years 3/4 NvdS
10.10.16 Street Dance Club – Years 3-10 JP
11.10.16 New Clubs – Years 1-2 JF
12.10.16 Book Fair – Rec-Y6 KT
12.10.16 Year 11 Interview Evening SSt
13.10.16 Horse Riding Club – Years 3-6 FT
14.10.16 Hockey Club – Years 5-8 JBG
14.10.16 Gymnastics Club – Years 5-10 JBG
14.10.16 Chelsea’s Choice Performance – Year 9 ST
14.10.16 Year 11 Mock Exam Revision SSt
w/c 31st Oct 2016
31.10.16 Year 9/10 Netball Fixture 2nd Nov JBG
31.10.16 Year 6 Cookery HW
01.11.16 PTFA Christmas Cards – Rec-Y6 HB
02.11.16 Grendon Activity Centre Trip – Year 3/4 NvdS
03.11.16 Ski Trip 2017 – Years 3-10 ID
03.11.16 Winter Fayre – All ID
03.11.16 Year 9/10 Netball Fixture 10th Nov JBG
04.11.16 Ball Skills Club – Years 1-2 LT
04.11.16 Spanish Club – Years 3-6 HB
04.11.16 Year 11 Mock Exam Timetable AJ
04.11.16 Evacuation Day Trip – Year 6 AJ
04.11.16 New Data Items – All HR
Great news! Our school has been awarded a Gold School Games Mark. The School Games Mark rewards schools for their commitment to the development of competition across their school and into the community. This recognises the commitment to sport of all of our Games players and our Sports department who are ably supported by our Games Captains, Rosie Bailey and Francesca Milburn.
The Year 10 and 11 Frantic Assembly workshop was a great success on Thursday, with the girls being taught safe, yet powerful ways to interact and connect physically to convey different dramatic affects.
We marked the success of Miss Izzard’s Speech and Drama students in assembly this morning with the presentation of LAMDA certificates. If you are interested in your child taking Speech and Drama lessons, please contact Miss Izzard at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Junior SchoolNews from Mrs Djukic
The weeks are certainly flying by and it seems strange to be writing the penultimate Junior Blog of this half term. Once again this has been a busy week for our pupils.
Black Country Museum Trip Our Year 5 girls joined forces with boys from Rushmoor this week to enjoy a fantastic visit to The Black Country Living Museum in Dudley. They experienced a Victorian school lesson as well as being taken underground into a coal mine! The girls also visited Victorian shops, the chapel as well as the chain maker and fun fair. The sweet shop was certainly a highlight for most along with the delicious biscuits in the bakery. This trip really brought to life their history topic, The Victorians, and will be an experience I am sure that they will remember.
Harvest Festival Our Harvest celebration was a wonderful event attended by many parents and friends. The Reception and Key Stage 1 children did a marvelous job and sang their Harvest songs beautifully. This year, St Andrew’s Junior School is pleased to be supporting Akaal Seva. This is a voluntary organisation which has been running for the last 15 years in conjunction with Guru Nanak Gurdwara Bedford. A group of volunteers have been running the Bedford Langar Project (BLP) for 2 years. Our pupils and families generously donated food which will be used to provide free hot meals to those in need. Representatives from Akaal Seva attended the assembly and gave a brief presentation of their work. Thank you to all our families for your contributions.
TODAY Tuesday 11 October GCSE Information Evening for Years 9 and 10 parents and pupils, to be held at Rushmoor School, 5.30 – 6.15pm.
TODAY Tuesday 11 October Junior School Parent’s Evening.
Wednesday 12 October Year 11 Parent’s Evening Rushmoor and St Andrew’s Sixth Form Open Evening on Wednesday 16 November from 7pm to 9pm. This will be a great opportunity to see the new Sixth Form and speak to Mr Swannell, Head of Sixth Form, Miss Rayer, Assistant to the Sixth Form, and the A level subject teachers.
With very best wishes.
Head of School
Clarion messages to parents Week Commencing w/c 3rd Oct 2016
5.10.16 Sky Diving Club – Years 5&6 JF 5.10.16 PTFA Events - All PTFA
6.10.16 Year 7&8 Netball Fixture PE Dept 6.10.16 Gymnastics Club – Year 5-10 PE Dept
6.10.16 Year 7 Cookery Ingredients HW 6.10.16 Blue Peris Residential – Year 9 SSt
6.10.16 Year 10 Parents Evening SSt 7.10.16 Parent Survey – Rec-Y11
Despite fears about the weather, the joint Parents’ Association BBQ & Activity evening had a great atmosphere and provided the opportunity for pupils, parents and staff from both schools to socialise and enjoy expertly cooked food, cheerily served drinks and a bungee jump for the young and springy!
On Friday most of the school took up the opportunity to spend the day wearing denim to raise funds for Jeans for Genes day. The Head Girl team presented an assembly to Senior School and Year 11 girls did a great job, putting on a lunchtime fashion show and cake sale in the New Hall, to boost funds further. Mrs van der Sande delivered a very informative assembly to the Junior School on the important work carried out by the Jeans for Genes charity in helping children and families with genetic disorders. A huge thank you to all our pupils and parents for donating so generously to our fundraising day.
Pictured above are our fabulous joint Year 7/8 Dodgeball team before they got into action. On Friday evening Rushmoor/St Andrews were one of many schools that got involved in the tournament at the Bunyan Centre. There were balls flying everywhere as 8 games and 16 teams played in each round. It was definitely an evening to release some tension. Thank you to Miss Pearce and Mr Richbell for giving up their Friday evening. Well worth it though as the girls and boys did not want to leave at the end and decided to have a friendly competition against Mr Richbell!
Nursery News The new Nursery t-shirts and sweat shirts have arrived and are beautifully modelled below by our lovely Nursery children. Further orders can be arranged through Nursery and Mrs Boland on Reception.
Junior News from Mrs Djukic It is great to see all the children in their smart uniforms coming into school independently. Well done! Our first few weeks of the new school year have been very positive. The children are settled, are working hard and seem very happy in their new classes. Thank you to all our Junior School parents who were able to make the Curriculum Information sessions. I hope you found them useful. Please do feel free to contact your child’s Form Teacher if you were not able to come or if you would like further information.
Congratulations! Our first Junior School Representative and Heads of House have been announced. Well done to the following: Jelena Ilic (Junior School Representative) Ella Stone (Head of Stuart House) Roma Kealy (Head of Tudor House) Ruby Ryall (Head of Windsor House) I am sure they will wear their badges with pride and be great ambassadors for the Junior School.
Playground Buddies Rosie Foster-Glennon, Octavia Bogacki and Olivia Sepede will be our Junior Playground Buddies. I am confident that these girls will undertake their duties responsibly.
Open Morning – Saturday 1 October 2016 We are holding our next Whole School Open Morning on Saturday 1 October 2016, from 10.00 to 12.00. Some Junior School parents may like to take the opportunity to look at Senior School. We are asking all pupils to attend if they possibly can, either to run activities in subject departments or to act as guides. We are frequently complemented on the impressive job our pupils do of touring the school and demonstrating their work, and we are confident that your sons and daughters will also create an excellent impression. Parents, grandparents and family friends are also most welcome to have a look around the school. We look forward to seeing you there. With very best wishes for the week ahead, Hilary Ryan
List of Letters Week Commencing w/c 19 Sept 2016
19.09.16 Library Information – Years 1-9 JB
19.09.16 Duke of Edinburgh Information Letter – Year 9 & 10 CG 20.
09.16 Year 11 Parent Consultation Evening SSt
20.09.16 Nursery Newsletter EN
22.09.16 Year 9&10 Netball Fixture PE Dept
22.09.16 Year 6 Dodgeball Fixture PE Dept
23.09.16 Year 7&8 Netball Fixture PE Dept
23.09.16 Fruit Snack – Junior HB
23.09.16 Open Morning – Saturday 1st October – Senior HR
Welcome to the new term after what I hope was a lovely summer for everyone. I hope that all the boys and girls are getting used to life in their new classes with new routines, new faces, old friends and teachers. We have been pleased to welcome new pupils to the school and it has been good to see everyone returning looking very smart and ready to start the academic year afresh.
On results day in August, we congratulated Year 11 for achieving very pleasing GCSE results. It was good to see the picture of some of our girls headlining the local press coverage. We had a number of departments achieving a 100% pass rate at A*-C grades, and high ‘value-added’ from Year 7 predictions to Year 11 outcomes at GCSE.
I hope that all of our ex-pupils are enjoying starting their chosen courses in their new 6th forms and colleges including, for the first time our new St Andrew’s and Rushmoor Sixth Form. I am sure that they are going to thrive and benefit from the excellent level of teaching and support they will receive in the small study groups. Thank you to Mr Swannell, Head of Sixth Form, for the hard work he has put into developing this exciting new setting for both schools.
I would like to formally welcome our new teachers, most of whom you will by now be familiar with:
Mr Jones, Assistant Head, has already got started on matters academic and he is looking forward to getting to know our pupils and families. We welcome Mrs Djukic as Head of the Junior School. She will be concerned with all matters relating to Junior pupils across both Rushmoor and St Andrew’s Schools. Mrs van der Sande takes up her new role as Deputy Head of the Junior School and she will deal with day to day and pastoral matters.
Mrs Sharma, our new SENCO, is here to assess and assist all pupils with their learning needs and she will be happy to advise and follow-up on any concerns you may have.
We welcome Miss Dabell to the Science Department and as Year 10 Form Tutor. Mrs McKenna also joins the Science department as Lab Technician. Miss Tweedale joins the English department and Junior team, and also becomes a Year 6 Class teacher. We also welcome Miss Ross to the Geography Department, whilst Miss Lawrence is on maternity leave. We congratulate Miss Lawrence and her partner on the safe arrival of their new daughter, Heidi.
Miss Bunyan returns to us following a year at University. She will be working in the Library and running the Homework Club after school. Mrs Grimes is moving on to pastures new and I thank her for all the work she has put into developing the Library which has become a great resource centre for pupils. Mrs Grimes has contributed to all areas of school life, including drama costumes, driving the minibus, school trips and particularly helping to co-ordinate the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. We wish her well in her new role at Cranfield University.
Before any children returned, we hosted a joint training day for staff on Monday with our partner school, Rushmoor, followed by further meetings and planning for the new term on Tuesday.
We have just heard that St Andrew’s is one of the finalists in the Early Years Award for excellence and innovation. This category is judged by evidence of the school’s outstanding qualities in their Early Years setting. Congratulations to Ms Niro and our EYFS team. Rushmoor have also received a nomination for Sport. Mr Daniel adds “we are highly delighted to have been nominated in two categories for these prestigious awards. As small, non-selective, independent schools, our aims are to provide the very best level of education, pastoral care and enrichment opportunities to all our pupils. Receiving recognition at a national level is extremely pleasing.”
On Thursday evening the Friends’ Parents Association held their final Annual AGM as a separate committee. Thank you to Mrs Handscombe, Mrs Kent and Mrs Edwards for their sterling work on behalf of the whole school community. A joint PTFA is being formed to benefit the children in both schools and provide opportunities for us to socialise and get together. If you would like to volunteer and be involved we would love to have you on board. We do not expect all the committee members to help at every event, but we appreciate all you can offer.
Our second-hand uniform shop, run by the Parents’ Association was a great success last year, recycling uniform pupils had grown out of whilst also raising money for the association to add to the sum to be spent on improving facilities for all pupils. We are happy to receive donations of any items in good condition to be re-sold in the uniform shop. It is positioned near Senior School Reception, will be open on Open Day on Saturday 1 October and also by individual request.
Today we have had a visit from Tempest who we use for the annual school photographs. The proofs will be sent to you soon should you wish to order any. Thank you for ensuring that the pupils look so smart.
Clubs and activities began this week and our aim is to provide something throughout the term for everyone to get involved with. Please encourage your children to take up these opportunities to mix with others and learn new skills and let me know if there are additional clubs or activities your children would support and that you would like to see added to our programme.
We encourage parents to use the VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) where teachers post homework assignments. If you have forgotten your login in details, please contact Mrs Jones email@example.com who can reset your password. Mrs Jones has also asked me to remind you that all St Andrew’s students (and staff now too!) are eligible for a free copy of Microsoft office 365, whilst they are at this school. This is a downloadable version and can be installed on up to 5 devices. If anyone wishes to take advantage of this offer, please let her know and she will set you up.
Our new Web site is up and running and I hope that the calendar, news, facebook and twitter will help to keep everyone in touch with what is going on at St Andrew’s.
Next Friday is our first ‘mufti day’ of the year and we are asking pupils to wear denim to support the Jeans for Genes campaign in exchange for the suggested donation of £1.
Our whole school Open Morning is on Saturday 1 October 10am - 12 noon. We kindly request that as many children as possible attend to showcase activities and guide our visitors. You are also most welcome to come, bring family and friends to see your child’s school, meet us all and enjoy assorted refreshments, including patisseries made by our pupils, in the French café.
Head of School
On Monday morning and Monday and Tuesday evenings, the cast of ‘Dream On’ a musical version of a Midsummer Night’s Dream, performed to St Andrew’s and Rushmoor pupils and families. The girls rose to the challenge of this complicated script and delivered a fantastic production, which included some magical group and individual acting and singing performances. A big thank you to all who supported, particularly the team of combined expertise who included Mr Farnsworth, Mrs Stott, Mrs Frost, Mrs van der Sande and Miss Izzard who was also a joy to watch as she mimed the actions and encouraged from the back!
On Tuesday Junior School pupils ‘moved-up’ to their new classes for the afternoon to meet their new teachers. Parents of children in Years 1&2 were invited to view the term’s creative curriculum work on Wednesday afternoon.
All those who performed at the ISA National Athletics Championships in Birmingham on Wednesday did well. Congratulations to all who qualified to take part. I would also like to congratulate the tri-golfers at the School Summer Games. It has been a very busy week on the sporting front! This was also the occasion of the Pre-school games held in the ‘Secret Garden’. Thank you to Ms Dempsey for organising the challenges and races and for all the team for making it a lovely occasion. Even the weather was kind to us!
Nursery staff were invited to attend the prize giving and viewing of the winning pictures from the Harpur Art Award. I am delighted that our Nursery children did so well and it is great to see their efforts framed and on display at the Cecil Higgins gallery, available for viewing until mid-August.
Thursday night was Prom Night at The Sharnbrook Hotel! This is always a glorious end to the exam period and everyone turned up looking magnificent, ready for a sit-down meal, presentations, photo-booth, disco and a slide-show of reminiscences. The two school’s Head Girls & Boys teams did a great job of organising the event and hopefully a very good time was had by all. A big thank you to the teaching staff from both schools, who came along in support.
Friday was Samba Day and the walls of the school reverberated with the rhythms and percussive sounds of the Samba! Morning and afternoon workshops were held for Senior and then Junior school, organised by Mrs Frost. A big thank you to the PTA for funding the Samba workshop. Admittedly it was loud in the New Hall! but the girls coped well and hopefully not only improved their rhythm skills but also concentration and team working. The Year 5 & 6's did really well in the afternoon. The junior hall proved easier on the ears!
We had a fantastic day on Saturday for our Summer Fair. We are pleased to announce that the Summer Fair raised an incredible £2,300 this year – a fantastic amount which will go a long way to helping fund extra equipment and large items for the benefit of the children. The children who performed did a great job and the jousting kept the more athletic and competitive youngsters amused! We hope you enjoyed the day and an enormous thank you to you all for supporting the Summer Fair whether it was through donating, baking, helping on a stall, performing, barbecuing or simply coming along and spending money on the day. A huge thank you to all!
Tonight we have our joint outdoor Summer Concert, starting at 6.00 for refreshments, following Junior School trips to Wimpole Hall for KS1 and The Harry Potter Experience for KS2.
Year 11 pupils have taster days in the Sixth Form on Monday and Tuesday. On Monday a trip to Cambridge has been organised by Mr Swannell. They will have a look around one of the colleges there and also try their hands at punting. Tuesday is taster sessions for A level subjects in the new 6th Form centre and then the great 6th Form bake-off! On Wednesday morning they have the opportunity to sample a driving lesson, courtesy of ‘Mags Martin’.
The new 6th Form centre is coming along well with social and teaching areas being completed well in time for September:
Also on Tuesday, Year 8 will be off timetable to prepare for their International Evening and Years 9 to 11 have a joint Enterprise morning, organised by our newly appointed 6th Form Business teacher, Mrs Beattie.
We convene for Prize Giving on Thursday at 5.00pm at St Andrew’s Church, and finally break-up for the summer at mid-day on Friday 8 July when our Review of the Year will be published.
I wish you all the very best of Summer Holidays. To our leavers, we wish you well in the future - it has been good to share this time with you and I look forward to seeing our remaining pupils and families once more on Wednesday 7 September.
List of Letters
w/c 27 June 2016
Date sent Title From
28.06.16 Year 5&6 Summer Concert Performers JF
28.06.16 Extra Curriculum and Homework Surveys – Years 1-10 HR
28.06.16 Year 3&4 Cookery HW
30.06.16 Dream On Photographs – Year 5&6 JF
30.06.16 Senior Summer Concert Performers JF
30.06.16 Nursery Summer Billing EN
On Saturday morning I joined up with the Chellington sleepover team, most of whom, on my arrival just after 8.30am, had already been up for three hours! There was a great atmosphere, lots of team work going on – a huge thank to Mrs van der Sande, Miss Halliwell, Mrs Robinson, Mrs Blythman for giving the children a brilliant experience and a lovely time.
This was followed by a visit to the Nursery Stay and Play which was in full swing – with biscuits being iced, sand being moulded, chalk on the playground, and even a fully-grown dad on a tricycle! A big thank you to Miss Niro and her great team for putting on this opportunity for parents to meet and share in the experiences their children enjoy, whilst they are in Nursery during the weekdays.
Well done to all the girls who took part in the ISA Athletics event on 17 May. The day involved participating along with 20 other schools in a wide range of track and field events. Then our athletes continued through to the athletics league after school. Some girls had a lot of events to participate in. Not all positions have come through at the moment, but when they are finalised we will let you know. I know that quite a few girls received medals, being placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd. Thank you to Mr Richbell for his organisation of the event and Miss Pearce and Miss Holyoak for organising our pupils and officiating.
In the after school league we competed against Gamlingay and Bedford Girls/Boys school. We came 2nd in some of the track events, and 2nd place was awarded to our honorary Year 7 Amelia Baker in 800 metres. Autumn Handscombe came 3rd in 200 metres; Evie Maddison came 3rd and Emma Fitt 4th in 1500 metres. Congratulations to all.
Our group of Year 9 Duke of Edinburgh Award participants set off on their expedition on Friday, led by Mrs Grimes. The route took them around Turvey and Bromham, Harrold Country Park and the surrounding fields. Mr Worrall anxiously awaited their arrival on Friday evening and they finally set up camp just as the sun was going down. All just about bounced into life the next morning, to cook breakfast, pack up the tents and complete the trek successfully. Good to see everyone still smiling at the end!
At a swimming event at Leighton Buzzard last weekend, Ruby Webb swam 3 races in the 13 year old category and achieved 3 new personal best times including a silver medal and 14 year old county time for 100m backstroke (1.23.62).Well done, Ruby.
School assessments continue this week and I hope that the GCSE English Literature paper went well for Year 11 this morning,
With best wishes for this week as we head towards half term.
A Head Teacher’s Award was presented to Faith Swift for her enthusiastic participation and the additional work she produced for Dr Pacini’s science lessons on pond life ecology.
Parent’s Letters w/c 16th May 2016
Year 5&6 Rounders Fixture
Year 1&2 Swimming Gala
Lifepath Trip Final Arrangements – Years 2,3,4
Sainsburys Active Kids Vouchers - All
Years 4,5 & 6 Athletics Fixture
Year 3&4 Cooking
After school on Friday 6 May a group of senior girls accompanied Mrs Stott and I to see ‘Shakespeare Untold’ at the Quarry Theatre. The two brilliantly performed monologues were retold from the perspectives of the Capulet’s party planner and Titus Andronicus’s pie maker. We all enjoyed the humour and parody of the story telling!
Early doors on Monday morning we waved Year 5 girls, Mr Farnsworth and Mrs Robinson off as they embarked upon a fantastic, slightly wet, residential trip to Bushcraft in the wilds of Oxfordshire. Here they learned survival skills such as creating camp fires, shelter building and camouflage. I am told, and the pictures show, that they all worked incredibly well as a team, throughout, and made the most of a muddy few days. Georgia Barnes-Quinn and Sophie Woods took their experience a stage further and abandoned their tents in order to sleep in their improvised shelters. Aimee Moliterno was brave enough to complete her own ‘BushTucker Trial’ and ate a fish eye ball! Not something that I would recommend, but all credit to her for having a go. The girls, having showered, slept and returned to school the next day, will have taken away lots of learning experiences and great Friday memories.
YEAR 10 DANCE WORKSHOP
On Monday 9 May Fiona Johnston, Ella Ferrari and Emily Salton all took part in a community dance workshop day at the University of Bedfordshire. The girls took part in all sorts of activities including an interactive installation and dance workshops exploring the fusion of different dance styles to create their own movement. They particularly enjoyed learning choreographic techniques and even showcased some of the work they devised. In the afternoon we were treated to various performances from the University's dance company. Over five different schools attended from across the county and it was great to see our students networking and gaining confidence whilst meeting new people. A fun day had by all.
A big thank you, to Miss Izzard!
Some Sports News for you:
Autumn Handscombe competed on Saturday at the Windsor Open Swimming Competition and came away with a Gold medal in her 50m backstroke, Silver in her 50m breaststroke, Silver in her 100m backstroke, and Silver in the 200m backstroke, so a very successful open! She will be competing in the Eastern Regional Championships on 30 May, in the 50m backstroke, which she qualified for in a time of 34.48 seconds, showing how determined she is! Well done Autumn.
At Tuesday’s Senior Assembly Anusha was presented with her Royal Institution Masterclass Certificate by Mrs Hickey and Madame Tribe.
Mrs Stott gave an excellent presentation about the countries and recent history of the EU. She explained the main issues voters will be weighing up ready for the referendum vote on Thursday. Pupils were encouraged to do some research and decide for themselves what they would vote. Well done to Libby Furmedge who decided to go home and look into the pros and cons of leaving or staying in the European Union. After looking through many opinions and reasoning’s, she formed her own opinion and wrote a statement explaining why she would vote to ‘stay in’.
We will be sending her article off to Parliament.
On Thursday afternoon Years 7, 8 & 9 pupils went on a Music Trip organised by Mrs Frost, to see ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ at MK Theatre. They had a great view of the orchestra pit and enjoyed the Samba routines which will be followed up with a ‘Samba workshop’ later on this term.
With GCSE Examinations commencing on Monday we wish our Year 11 girls all the very best of luck with this next phase of revision, work on practice papers and the exams themselves. With assessments happening across most of the school during the next two weeks, it will feel very quiet following this period of activity!
I hope that Years 2, 3 and 4 and the staff enjoy a great overnight stay at the Chellington Centre tonight. I’m planning to pop across at around about hot chocolate time!
Wishing everyone a good weekend,