Principal's Blog

Principal's Blog - Friday 4th October 2019:


We were all deeply saddened to learn that our friend and former colleague, Hilary Ryan, passed away on Friday 20 September 2019 after a courageous battle against cancer. 

Hilary served St Andrew’s School for 22 years, retiring in July 2017.  Her dedication to the pupils in her care was exceptional. 

Hilary’s impact upon the whole school community including staff, parents and pupils was immeasurable. Hilary was a tremendous support when she stepped into the role of Head of School and helped to steer the school through the start of the Alliance in order for St Andrew’s to move forward. 

We shall hold fond memories of Hilary and will miss her.  She leaves a lasting legacy, having played an important part in the lives of many children throughout her long career as a teacher, together with helping to ensure that St Andrew’s continued to progress as part of the Alliance.    

Our thoughts and condolences are with her daughters, Emily and Anna, and her wider family members, at this sad time.   

If you wish to send a message of condolence, then please do so via Sheila Heaney at St Andrew's School office.

Open Mornings

I would like to say a huge thank you to all of our families who came along to support the Open Mornings across the Alliance. We had more families than ever before attend the morning to look at the alliance as a whole. It is such a pleasure to see our existing students taking on the role of tour guides and talking about their school experiences so positively.  As I always say, our pupils really are our very best advertisement.  Also thank you to all the pupils who came along to spend time highlighting the subjects we offer, which impressed our visitors immensely.  I have received excellent feedback from the prospective families, with lots of taster days booked over the coming weeks. 

Opportunity

Of course, prospective families had questions about our plans for the new site, but they also wanted to hear about the excellent opportunities that our pupils already enjoy across the Alliance.  We were pleased to tell them that we always look at ways we can enhance our pupils’ learning outcomes and the environment in which they learn. 

As we look to the future, we also have our thoughts firmly rooted in the current needs of our pupils.  This has meant that we are continuing to upgrade our existing school buildings and resources.  For example, we have invested in a higher speed internet system for our pupils, upgraded laptops and introduced new software programmes to complement modern learning techniques.  Our pupils’ needs are also at the forefront of our recruitment policy and we are delighted that our investment in our current pupils has included attracting a number of enthusiastic and highly rated teaching staff this year.

Our Governing Body are very ‘hands-on’ and you will always see them represented at school events, such as the Open Mornings.  They are happy to talk to our families about their views and we are very fortunate to have such dedicated governors who strive to ensure our pupils’ educational journeys are happy.  As part of their role, they routinely come into school to carry out observations; this week we were pleased to have Mr Thompson visiting to observe a number of lessons and provide his feedback on the learning outcomes for pupils of all abilities.  Mr Thompson has many years’ classroom experience, having taught history at Rushmoor, so is well versed to give his feedback.  We are currently focusing on outcomes for all abilities as part of the Alliance School Improvement Plans.  Of course, we already have a strong reputation for providing excellent support, but having reviews in place means that we are never complacent. 

I am also pleased that a number of new enrichment opportunities have been added this year.  For example, we are introducing a new PGL residential trip for pupils in years 6 and 7, we are participating in a musical concert in the spring next year held at O2 Arena celebrating Young Voices and there will be an Alliance musical in the summer term following the success of past productions such as Peter Pan and Bugsy Malone.  We take enrichment opportunities seriously and review the learning outcomes to ensure they meet with our pupils’ needs.

Supporting the community and fundraising

As an inspector for the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI), I know they value the promotion of good work and supporting worthy causes; it is something that we look out for as part of the inspection process.  This is an area that I feel we do extremely well and, given that we are two small schools, our track record for supporting our community and raising funds is excellent.  I would like to thank all those who donated cakes for the Macmillan Cancer Research Big Coffee Morning and all the staff, pupils, parents and friends who came along to support this event at both school sites. 

As part of our PSHE curriculum, we encourage our pupils to think about others less fortunate than themselves.  This also follows through to other curriculum areas, such as in English, where our senior pupils learn about the effects of homelessness and just why a person might find themselves in that terrible situation.  This has resulted in the pupils supporting the Prebend Homeless Shelter over the past few years.  Our junior pupils also learn the need to help those less fortunate and this formed part of their Harvest Festival celebrations, where they collected goods to help support our local communities.  Thank you to all our families for your generous donations in aid of the Bedford Food Bank.

Sports - For detailed sports news, please follow us on Twitter, Instagram or FaceBook. 

There have been numerous fixtures over the past couple of weeks, with a great deal of rugby and netball played across the year groups.  St Andrew’s girls are achieving some fantastic netball results against strong competition. We’ve also had dodge ball competitions and our year 6 boys and girls took part in a cycling competition hosted by Biddenham School.

Sticking with the sporting theme, our year 4 pupils from both schools had an exciting day out at the Silverstone Race Track.  They had a guided tour of the pits and a questions and answers session with Ash Sutton and Senna Proctor.  Thank you to BMR Racing for being such fantastic, inspiring, hosts. 

LAMDA

I would like to congratulate Rushmoor pupils that took LAMDA exams in the Summer Term.  Well done to Thomas Kilroy: Merit, Ben Handscombe: Distinction, Aiya El-Kuom: Distinction and Ophelia Manser: Distinction.  

ISA Art Competition Please make sure you look at Facebook to read about the outstanding results achieved by pupils from both Rushmoor and St Andrew’s Schools.  Congratulations to all placed pupils and thank you to Mrs Chaplin and Mrs Turner for their inspiration.  

Public Speaking Club

We are very excited about the launch of Public Speaking Club.  The boys have played a number of games to develop their intonation, pace and posture.  They are now preparing for a debate against Bedford School as well as a Rotary Club competition. Public Speaking club is held on a Thursday 4-5pm in EN-2. If your son is in year 6-9, please ask them to see Miss Bamber if they are interested in joining.   

At assembly on 4 October St Andrew’s celebrated both National poetry day and the beginning of Black History month. Staff at St Andrew’s were encouraged to read their favourite poem to their class yesterday in a follow up to world reading day earlier in the year. The assembly today focussed on the powerful and inspiring words of Maya Angelou, whilst also recognising the extraordinary life that she led. This led pupils and staff to reflect on the remarkable successes that Dina Asher-Smith has had this week in the World Championships. Like all of us, she is multifaceted and her abilities extend beyond the track as well. The closing statement of the assembly, attributed to Sir Issac Newton, but with roots in the twelfth century, of; "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants” is something which we should all remember and seek solace in.

Sixth Form

We were delighted to have a number of visitors to the Open Morning who currently attend schools outside our Alliance.  We were also pleased to welcome the families of our existing pupils who wanted to learn more about life in years 12 and 13.  Our current sixth formers were superb hosts and the overall feedback has been positive.

Over the coming months our year 11 pupils at both schools have a great deal to consider about their future learning pathways.  To this end, the St Andrew’s girls were invited to the Sixth Form to find out more about what options are available to them.  I hope they found this helpful.  Mrs Beattie, Director of Sixth Form, and her team are happy to speak to any of our pupils or their families regarding sixth form choices, so please contact us if you have any questions.  We are here to support the pupils in whatever direction they choose and want to ensure all transitions run smoothly.

Nursery and Junior School News

St Andrew’s Nursery held a very successful Stay and Play session on Saturday 28 September, where £145 was raised towards the school’s overall Macmillan charity collection.  Thank you to all who supported the event.

This week the children have been looking at Autumn using apples, cinnamon, oranges, acorns and pine cones.  The toddlers have been collecting leaves and conkers and using them to investigate insects and their homes.  Pre-school children have been studying phonic letters S and A, making delicious apple crumbles and sandwiches.  The children also made a giant spider’s web and picked out flies with tweezers to use their fine motor control.  They have also looked at aliens and acrobats.  Science has continued this week with experiments using Skittles and water to make amazing rainbows.      

Reception children at St Andrew’s have been preparing for harvest by building their own junk model scarecrows and creating a garden, after learning the sound G.          

I do enjoy hearing the update of Robbie the Robot from Miss Harrow and Miss Grummitt.  This week our EYFS children came into school to discover Robbie the Robot was missing and he had left a letter explaining that he wanted the children to create a Robo-Pet. The children thought about what pet they would like to make and designed their own Robo-Pet. The children used clay and a range of resources to create their Robo-Pets. I was very impressed with their ideas!  

Last week, the year 5 girls completed their Bikeability cycle training course.  The course, delivered by Outspoken Training, has helped to prepare the girls to cycle safely on our roads, and has hopefully increased their confidence and awareness of other road users.  

Junior School Stars of the Week  

St Andrew’s School 

Week ending 27 September:

Reception – Harris Pacuka

Year 1 – Scarlett Rook

Year 2 – Matthew Turpie

Year 3/4 – whole of year 4

Year 5 – Ruby Elliott-Willey  

Week ending 4 October:

Reception – Eloisa Di-Stazio

Year 1 – Oliver Barber

Year 2 – Vedh Muralidharan

Year 3/4 – Grace Perry

Year 5 – Deborah Nyamtowo  

Week ending 27 September:

Reception – Eloise Perry

Rushmoor School

1ET – Eliza Burchell

2KGL – Megan Pyatt-Slade

3JM – Ethan Kenna

3ST – Laith Shadid

4ET – Harry Clayton

4ZL – Olivia Crabtree

5CR – Thomas Barrett

5RS – Tom Ulvert

Principal’s Awards

Sophie Williams in year 8 for her perseverance and determination to complete work in Maths.

Poppy Corner in year 7 for achieving a personal challenge set by Mr Daniel.  

Caroline Demuth for her outstanding talk delivered to pupils and parents at the year 9 transition evening.  

Beatrice O’Connor for her model of the Great Fire of London.  

Harry Ridgeon for his English classwork.  

Miles Morris for his weekend homework.  

Charlie Benson for his brilliant work in Topic.  

Arman Treis for a superb start to geography this year.  

Alex Timpau-Rat for his weekend diary.  

Parent Council Meetings  

Mr Jones will be holding the St Andrew’s Parent Council meeting on Wednesday 16 October at 8.45am in the Senior Library.  Please email any Agenda items to Sheila Heaney at sheaney@standrewsschoolbedford.com

Mr Evans will be holding the Rushmoor Parent Council meeting on Friday 18 October at 8.45am.  If you would like to attend please email Philippa Abruzzese at pabruzzese@rushmoorschool.co.uk

I would like to congratulate Jacob Wells, from Year 10 who has been selected for the Northampton Saints Elite Performance Squad.  This is a huge achievement and testament to the effort that Jacob puts into his rugby.  Well done Jacob, I shall enjoy hearing about your progress. 

Well done to Ben from Year 5 who has been awarded the Under 11 ‘Top Bowler’ and ‘Most Improved Player’ trophies by Blunham Cricket Club.  Ben has been playing in an older age group all season, so should be very proud of his achievements.   

Well done to Mrs Abruzzese and Tommy Stott from year 11 who took part in the Bedford Sprint Series triathlon last weekend.  This involved a 400 metre swim, 24K cycling and 5K run! Congratulations to Tommy who came first in his age category!

Kind regards  

I M Daniel, BA (QTS), NPQH

Principal

View previous blog posts by clicking the titles below

Principal's Blog - Friday 20th September 2019

Mrs Jean Skelton, former matron and governor of Rushmoor School, sadly passed away during the summer.  Representatives from the school attended her funeral on Monday 16 September 2019.  Jean was a strong supporter of Rushmoor over many years and was also enthusiastic about St Andrew’s joining as a partner because she was a former pupil of St Andrew’s School herself.  Jean was always straight-talking, which we all really appreciated.  She supported her community well over many years, including acting as High Sheriff in 1991.  Jean will be remembered fondly by many of the staff and governors, together with our former pupils who experienced her care in their boarding days.

The Welcome Barbecue took place last Friday, which was a nice way to welcome new families to the Alliance.  The weather proved to be fabulous, so thank you to everybody who came along. 

Thank you to all the staff who have been involved in the various middle/senior school transition evenings across both sites.  I hope these have proved helpful to iron out any queries that you may have had following the first couple of weeks of this new academic year. 

I would like to say thank you to Mrs Howard, one of the Rushmoor parents, who is helping once again this year with the careers syllabus.  Rushmoor’s year 11 boys took part in a workshop entitled ‘Presenting Yourself Positively’ led by Mrs Howard. We will soon be offering the same to the St Andrew’s girls.

Our Sixth Form students were provided with a ‘Working Careers’ talk on Wednesday, which we hope will help them consider their options for the future. 

I have decided to keep my Blog brief when it comes to all the sporting fixtures going on as we issue numerous updates on Twitter and FaceBook highlighting our sporting exploits, so please follow us on a social media platform to remain fully informed.  Various sporting fixtures have been taking place over the past couple of weeks and it is wonderful to see so many of our pupils becoming involved.  Talking to our new pupils, they are amazed by how many opportunities they have had to participate in fixtures already.  One of our new pupils also told me that they have had more communication in the past week or so from school than they had in the past five years at their previous school.  Hopefully that means we are getting things right and keeping all our families well-informed.

The opinions of the pupils are always valued and they have come up with some excellent ideas over the years.  To this end, the School Councils at both sites have met during the past fortnight to discuss their roles and ideas for the year ahead, including charitable events and fundraising.  The first fundraising event took place today in aid of Jeans for Genes, so thank you to everybody who contributed to this great cause.  We’ve also got the MacMillan Coffee Morning to look forward to on 27 September.

Pupils at St Andrew’s School have received the following excellent results in their London College of Music examinations – Shelby Gwiza, grade 6 Music Theatre with Distinction, Tabitha Crocker and Chloe Frost, grade 5 Music Theatre with Distinction, and Tomisin Alao grade 3 Popular Music Vocals with Distinction.  

Also, London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art examinations – Amy Parrish and Lydia Shortland, entry level Speaking Verse and Prose with Distinction, Olivia Patel, entry level Speaking Verse and Prose with Merit, Ada Padbury, grade 1 Speaking Verse and Prose with Merit, Isabelle Clegg, grade 3 Speaking Verse and Prose with Distinction, Lottie Kent, grade 3 Acting and Speaking Verse and Prose with Merit, Sophie Fletcher, grade 4 Acting with Distinction and Holly Collins, grade 4 Speaking Verse and Prose with Merit. Our thanks to Mrs Turton for her valued teaching and support of the pupils.  

On Tuesday evening Mr Jones at St Andrew’s School welcomed a fine turn out from the year 9 cohort and their parents and guardians. The aim of the event was to share information about the recent GCSE curriculum changes. The role of parents was highlighted and resources shared on how to best support the girls through this potentially stressful period. All resources will be shared with parents next week so please do not panic if you were unable to attend. If there are any further queries following this event concerning GCSE syllabuses or options then please do not hesitate to be in contact with Mr Jones.  

On Thursday evening we welcomed the year 6 and 7 parents into school to discuss how the transition into Senior School has gone. It has been wonderful to hear such positive comments in light of this event and it has ratified our belief that both year groups have made strong and enjoyable starts to life in the Seniors. For this fact they should be very proud.

Nursery & Junior School News:

You may have seen on social media that the children in Rushmoor EYFS had a visitor last week, a scientist brought Robbie the Robot.  Following the children's interest in the story 'Winnie the Witch and the big bad robot’, the children have continued their learning around robots. They came into school to discover Robbie the Robot was missing and he had left a letter explaining that he was feeling lonely. The children decided to create their own robot friend for Robbie. First the children designed their robots. They then used a range of tools and techniques to create their robots using junk modelling resources. The following day the children were so excited to discover that Robbie had returned and he was surrounded by all his new robot friends.  

This week, Robbie the Robot had a challenge for the children. In the night Robbie’s arm had got stuck to a magnet. Robbie wanted the children to be scientists and discover what other things might stick to the magnet. The children made predictions and recorded their findings.  

At St Andrew’s Pre-school the children have been learning phonics, beginning with the letter ‘S’.  They have enjoyed making sandwiches and snacks, as well as looking at spaceships, spiders and collage squirrels for their Autumn board.  The children have also cut out leaves and painted them in Autumn colours to hang on their indoor tree.  There has been lots of play using shapes and sand.

Well done to all pupils who have been awarded Junior School roles of responsibility as follows:

Rushmoor School:

Junior Representatives: Oscar Wood & Jacob O’Neill

Heads of House:         

Randall: Ben Handscombe              

Richardson: Alex Thomson        

Owen: Jamie Marshall

Sports Captains:

Basil Anstee (1st half of the year) & Albie Beeden (2nd half of the year)         

Rugby Captain: Majus Hodges         

Football Captain: Cameron Venn         

Cricket Captain: Tom Ulvert  

St Andrew’s School:

Junior Representative: Tilly Norman

Heads of House:         

Stuart: Rosalia Hendry         

Windsor: Lucia Treleven         

Tudor: Charlie Allen

Sports Captain: Flossy Stott  

Junior School Stars of the Week:  

St Andrew’s School

Friday 13 September:

Reception – Arabella Taylor

Year 1 – William Woodrow

Year 2 – whole class

Year 3/4 - Evie Martin

Year 5 – Darci Chiesa/Izzy Child  

Friday 20 September:

Reception – Al-Akhire Babajide

Year 1 – Liliana Sepede

Year 2 – Max Hendry

Year 3/4 - Helen Weston

Year 5 – Charlotte Allen  

Rushmoor School 

Friday 13 September 2019

Reception – Matheus Costa-Hale

1ET – Arthur Lees

2KGL – Kieron Kirkham

3JM – Lilia-Diya Dass

3ST – Alessio Nandha

4ET – Hugo Auton

4ZL – Farell Kotecha

5CR – Basil Anstee

5HT – Henry Seacombe  

Friday 20 September 2019

Reception – Lyuben Savkov-Lin

1ET – Rahaf Adam

2KGL – Vaishnavi Naganaboina

3JM – Lawrence Johnson/Alfred Finlayson/ Tara Adams/Sienna Nandha

3ST – Jack Saunders

4ET – Tanishk Barve

4ZL – Qais Ghazzawi

5CR – Kai Wolkenstein

5HT – Ashley Venn  

Principals Awards:

Sophie Weston in year 6 for being helpful and supportive to her peer group.  

Jamie Buddle for his holiday scrap book.

Ben Handscombe for all the work he completed over the summer holidays.

Ben Cicco for going above and beyond with his maths revision over the holidays.

Jaylin Patel for his wonderful artwork.

Ethan Watson for doing fantastic science homework and doing more than was asked for.

I would like to say well done to Charles Grimes, one of our sixth formers, who took part in a Combined Cadets Service East Anglia Skill at Arms event during the weekend of 6 – 8 September.  Great effort Charles.  Anybody who is interested in joining the CCF should speak to Mr Ferrer at Rushmoor for further information or Mr Jones at St Andrew’s. 

Massive congratulations to Noah Broomfield, Toby Kilroy and ex-pupil Dominic Lee-Krishna who were integral members of the Biddenham U11 Cricket Team who won the Bedfordshire County Championship Final on 26 August.  The team were also unbeaten all season!

We were highly delighted last weekend to receive the news that Rushmoor School has been shortlisted for the ISA’s national award for our learning support provision.  The Alliance has a unique reputation for providing excellent learning support across all areas of the curriculum and receiving recognition in this way is just the icing on the cake.  We can add it to Rushmoor’s and St Andrew’s ever-growing list of accolades from the ISA.

The Mock Interview evening for Rushmoor and St Andrew’s year 11s is taking place at Rushmoor School on Friday 8 November.  If you would like to volunteer and interview the pupils, please contact Philippa Abruzzese at pabruzzese@rushmoorschool.co.uk

A reminder that Open Morning takes place next Saturday, 28 September, and all parents, grandparents and friends are invited to join us should you so wish.  

Kind regards

I M Daniel, BA (QTS), NPQH

Principal

Principal's Blog - Friday 6th September

Welcome

It was lovely to welcome the pupils back on Wednesday and it was very nice to greet our new pupils starting across the Alliance, I know they will quickly settle into life at Rushmoor and St Andrew’s.  The year ahead is full of exciting opportunities for our pupils, with trips to look forward to, extra-curricular clubs to take part in and lots of things to learn across the curriculum areas.  I hope you all had some time to look at the Alliance Review that was issued on the last day of term, but if you didn’t please follow the link below, as it will give you an idea of what lies ahead this year.

https://indd.adobe.com/view/02c5820f-c7a2-40e1-b9a3-5e820a0b8522

Results

I hope you saw the news on The Bedford Independent website and on our Twitter and Facebook pages about the A-level and GCSE results, which were once again pleasing.  The results reflect the broad and balanced curriculum provided across the Alliance. Highlights at A level include a 100% pass rate in further maths, with particular mention to Olivier Gaillard who sat the paper a year early and achieved an A*.  All of our A-level pupils who chose to continue their studies at university were accepted at their first choice, with special mention to Sanidhay Kashyap who achieved grade A in Biology, Chemistry and Maths.

At GCSE level we are extremely proud of our students in Art and Design where a number of pupils achieved the very top grade of 9.  The results for modern foreign languages were also pleasing, with a high proportion achieving marks at 7-9.  A special mention must go to Caroline Demuth in year 10 who achieved a superb grade 9 in Spanish and a fantastic grade 8 in English Language. We are proud of the entire year 11 cohort and the grades they achieved which appear to have enabled them to attend their first choice for further education, we wish them all the very best.

We are delighted with the number of pupils entering our Sixth Form this year.   Again, we have had pupils returning to us having sampled other Sixth Forms; this really is testament to the unique learning opportunities and caring environment we provide.  Following the successful introduction of the Cambridge Technical Course in Business last year, we have introduced another Cam Tech subject this year, ICT.  Our sixth form continues to evolve to meet the requirements of the students.   

We were also delighted to learn that our pupils across the Alliance studying Speech and Drama as an extra-curricular subject all passed their LAMDA examinations, with 9 Distinctions and 12 Merits.

Staff

I would like to welcome the new members of teaching staff.  Firstly, it is wonderful to have Mr Swannell and Mr Beach returning to us.  Mr Swannell will be teaching humanities across the Alliance and Mr Beach will teach Physics across the two sites.  Mr Wallwork joins us as the Chemistry teacher and will also teach across the two schools.

New Build

Over the summer months work has continued on plans for the new school site, with numerous meetings taking place.  On Wednesday this week we met with the architects to discuss various points of progress as they have been busy with the details throughout July and August.  Work has been carried out on valuations for the two current sites, formally merging the two schools, uniform ideas and the new name.  The opening target remains September 2021.  As part of our plans we are also considering the community cohesion requirements involved with our charitable status, which means I have been in discussion with local sporting provisions to see how links can be developed.  So, things are moving forward. 

In the meantime, work has also been carried out over the summer on the existing sites to ensure they are well maintained.  This has included a new entrance system at the St Andrew’s Nursery using face recognition. 

We strongly believe that school and home must work together to ensure that our pupils abide by the School Rules, so we would ask for your assistance in this matter.  Pupils must make sure they arrive at registration on time otherwise they will receive a late slip (obviously this will not apply in inclement weather conditions, due to late buses or other situations outside their control).  The pupils arrived this week looking extremely smart, which I hope will remain throughout the year.  They must remember they are representing their school when in uniform, so whether on school grounds or not, they should wear it correctly.  Hairstyles should be sensible, no dye and grade 2 is the minimum cut please.  Please also follow the rules about long hair being tied back for safety reasons.

The form or subject teacher is the first point of contact and their email addresses can be found on the schools’ websites.  If you would like to discuss things further, please contact the following members of staff:-

Mrs Barnes, Assistant Head, Pastoral, Rushmoor                 mbarnes@rushmoorschool.co.uk

Mrs Beattie, Director of Sixth Form                                    sbeattie@rushmoorschool.co.uk

Mrs Johnson, Assistant Head, Academic, Rushmoor             ejohnson@rushmoorschool.co.uk

Mrs Stott, Assistant Head, Pastoral, St Andrew’s                 sstott@standrewsschoolbedford.com

Mrs Djukic, Head of Juniors, Rushmoor & St Andrew’s         tdjukic@rushmoorschool.co.uk

Mrs van der Sande, Deputy Head of Juniors, St Andrew’s nvdsande@standrewsschoolbedford.com

Mrs Mortensen, Deputy Head of Juniors, Rushmoor             jmortensen@rushmoorschool.co.uk        

Miss Niro, Head of Nursery/EYFS Lead, St Andrew’s             eniro@standrewsschoolbedford.com        

Miss Harrow, Head of EYFS, Rushmoor                             lharrow@standrewsschoolbedford.com                    

Mr Evans, Deputy Head, Rushmoor                                   aevans@rushmoorschool.co.uk    

Mr Jones, Deputy Head, St Andrew’s                              ajones@standrewsschoolbedford.com     

Mr Daniel, Principal                                                         heads_pa@rushmoorschool.co.uk                        

Next week we have school photographs booked at both sites, Monday at Rushmoor and Tuesday at St Andrew’s, so pupils should ensure they come into school looking very smart. 

We have the Alliance Welcome Barbecue taking place at St Andrew’s School on Friday evening, so if you would like to come along please let the office staff know so we are prepared with the numbers for catering purposes.  This is a nice way to meet other pupils and parents and chat to staff informally.  

We have our Open Morning on Saturday 28 September, and further details will be sent out regarding this shortly, but please make a note in your diary as we do ask many of the pupils to come along to help – they are our best advertisement!

My Blog is issued every fortnight throughout term time and is emailed to parents, so please look out for it in your in-box as it does contain a round-up of what’s going on across the Alliance and information on forthcoming events. 

Please remember, we operate an open door policy and are happy to hear viewpoints from our families.  Please look out for the Parent Council meeting dates, which you are welcome to attend. 

You may also wish to become involved with the PTFA and we welcome any support in this area. 

Kind regards

I M Daniel, BA (QTS), NPQH

Principal

Principal's Blog - Friday 28 June 2019

As we are heading rapidly towards the end of this academic year, this will be my last blog.  On the last day of term we will issue the annual review, which will be sent electronically for the first time this year in a bid to eliminate our use of paper and respond to the environmental concerns that we are teaching the pupils about.  When it arrives, I hope you will enjoy the chance to look through the pages as a reminder of the busy school year we have had.

During the past fortnight children from years 3 and 4 across the Alliance went to Green Park for a two-night residential.  They were able to take part in lots of adventurous activities and enjoy the great outdoors.  The trip is designed to help the children develop confidence and work collaboratively. 

The trip had to be moved because our former venue, Grendon, has closed down, but Green Park, located in Aston Clinton, proved a great replacement and our year 3 and 4 pupils next year certainly have a good trip to look forward to.

St Andrew’s pupils have showcased their acting skills by performing the production ‘This Changes Everything’ at the Quarry Theatre.  The play is about an attempt to create an idealistic, all-female community; it was written specifically with the aim of addressing gender imbalance and inequality in theatre.  The pupils played their parts superbly and I would like to thank them for their commitment to the production.  Thank you to all the staff involved in putting on the performance, particularly Mrs Stott for her direction and Jesse Bettsworth for her support in the background. Lastly, thank you to all the parents, grandparents and friends who went along to support the pupils. 

We have set up an ICT working party to look at the needs of the two schools currently and as we move forward with developments.  They will consider Wifi access, security arrangements and the delivery of ICT across the curriculum areas.  Jamie Burke has been appointed Student Representative for this working party to ensure we are aware of the viewpoints of our pupils.  My thanks go to Mrs Ionn for her help in this area.  

Our regular Governors’ Education Committee invites the pupils to attend the meetings to express their views on school life, highlighting what they like and any ideas for future development.  

We hosted a Parents’ Council meeting this week in both schools, which was an opportunity for parents to voice their opinions on the new school development.  Minutes are attached to this email for all parents to view.  If you were unable to attend the meeting, but have ideas about the new school, then please feel free to email me using heads_pa@rushmoorschool.co.uk. or sheaney@standrewsschoolbedford.com  

On the subject of planning for the future, Mr Jones and I, together with one of our governors, Trish Lennie, attended a ‘Diamond’ Conference on 25 June at Stamford School.  We came away with some inspiring ideas that will help us as we plan the structure of the new school site.  An example of the work so far being undertaken is the new uniform design; attached is an example as to where the team have got to.  

The Mayor of Bedford, Dave Hodgson, and his deputy, Charles Royden, visited us last week, meeting with pupils from across the Alliance to learn more about school life at Rushmoor and St Andrew’s and what makes us unique in Bedfordshire.  We discussed the exciting development plans we have for the Alliance.  Mr Hodgson and Mr Royden were in full favour of the new school development and were very interested to hear about the community cohesion projects we have in mind in relation to the move.   

The art and the design technology departments from both schools hosted a successful exhibition at Bedford Heights last Friday.  Thank you to all the people who came along to support it.  I felt it really showcased the wonderful creative talents our pupils have developed throughout their GCSE years and A-level years.  The visiting moderator attended the exhibition and I am sure was suitably impressed.   Our thanks must go to Tim Payne from Bedford Heights, who allowed us to use the exhibition room, which is greatly appreciated.  I would also like to thank Mrs Chaplin, Mrs Turner, Mrs Wakeling and Miss Cripps for setting everything up and all their hard work.  

We have been working with Explore Learning, based in Sainsbury’s, who provide additional learning support to complement school based learning.  This week staff from Explore Learning visited our Key Stage One pupils; they used fun techniques to explore literacy and numeracy.  

Our sixth formers in year 12 had the opportunity to visit the UCAS Exhibition hosted by Bedfordshire University last week.  Universities from across the country had representatives on hand to discuss courses with prospective students.  Apprenticeships were also advertised.  The exhibition gave our sixth formers a little more guidance about their future steps as they consider which university to apply to or career path to take.  This also coincides with the advice the students are receiving regarding personal statements for UCAS applications and writing their curriculum vitae. Thank you to Mrs Beattie and Miss Rayer for organising the trip.  

The A level geography students travelled to Frinton-on-sea to carry out fieldwork; measuring the height of the beach on either side of the groynes, measuring the types and distance of the waves, and calculating the angle of the beach slope.  Thank you to Miss Ross for organising the trip.  

Pupils from years 7 and 8 across the Alliance went to see ‘Wicked’ in London as part of their musical studies. Thank you to Mr Day, Mrs Gittins, Mrs Colbert, Mrs Crannis, Mrs Lombardi, Mr Mudzvovera, Mrs Shackleton and Mrs Harrison for accompanying the pupils.  

On 21 and 22 June, year 9 pupils completed their bronze Duke of Edinburgh expedition.  Thank you to all the staff who gave up their free time to allow the pupils to take part in this activity: Mr Morrish, Mrs Andrews and Mr Mudzovera.  I went out on Friday evening, following the Art and DT exhibition, to assess the pupils.  I then checked up on each of the groups on Saturday morning and again in the afternoon.  Well done to all those who took part.  

Next week it will be the expeditions for our silver and gold participants who are heading off to the Peak District.  This is a longer expedition and we won’t be back until late Friday.  Once again Mr Morrish, Mrs Andrews and Mr Mudzovera will be accompanying the groups and I thank them for giving up their time to do this again.  I will be on duty to assess the groups too.  

On Saturday 22 June, I also opened St Andrew’s School for some of our former pupils to enjoy a reunion.  It was a lovely opportunity for them to be in their old school and share precious memories.  We value our alumni, who are valued members of the school community.  Thank you to Mr Jones who broke off from his own Saturday schedule to ensure the school was locked up after the reunion. One former pupil was extremely keen to ensure the archives were on display in the new school. Maintaining the history of the two schools is very much a priority for me as we go forward.

Back in March, two of our year 10 students, having been successful in the first round of the UKMT Intermediate Maths Challenge, took part in the Pink Kangaroo round, which is sat by several thousand students across the country.  They had to sit another very challenging hour long paper and we were delighted to hear of their fantastic success, when the results came in.  Luke Barton was in the top 25% of students achieving a score of 96 marks and was awarded a Merit.  Olivier Gaillard achieved a certificate of Qualification with a very close score.  We are delighted that they have been able to demonstrate their great mathematical ability in this way and we are very proud of them both.

The Junior School children had a fun filled ‘pyjamarama day’ last Friday, relishing the chance to come into school in their nightwear!  This was all to raise money for Book Trust which is the UK's largest children's reading charity. Each year they reach 3.4 million children across the UK with books, resources and support.  

On the evening of 21 June Key Stage One pupils from across the Alliance had the chance to stay overnight for ‘Den Day’ – it’s a good job they already had their pyjamas on! This was to raise funds for Save the Children. Thank you to Miss Glennon, Mrs Thompson, Miss De Fortuna and Mrs Holt for supervising this event.   

On 28 June year 8 pupils from Rushmoor and St Andrew’s attended a talk given by BMS about the opportunities available in joining the Combined Cadet Force.  Hopefully some of them were inspired to join CCF in September.    

Sports News:  

There have been a number of cricket and rounders fixtures taking place over the past fortnight, with pleasing performances throughout the age groups.  

Our year 5 and 6 pupils from across the Alliance took part in a Quadkids Competition, so well done to them all for their efforts.    

On 20 June year 7/8 pupils competed at the District Athletics event at Bedford stadium.  All competitors represented the schools with pride and worked really hard.  Congratulations to all who qualified to reach this stage, and special mention to Grace Constant for coming 1st in the Javelin, and Chino Oriaku for qualifying for the finals of the 200 metres.

We took 16 qualifiers to the ISA National Athletics Championships in Birmingham last week.  We are incredibly proud of each of the pupils who took part.   Our year 6 relay team came home with medals, so well done to Ben, Ryan, Freddie and James (and special mention to Maddison who helped them qualify at the regionals).  Maddison received silver in the shot putt event.  

Principal’s Award:

To Grace Constant in year 7 for coming 1st in Javelin at the District Athletics Championships.

To Gracie Stewart in year 8 for her willingness to support the show by understudying for a poorly cast member at the last minute.

To Alessio Sepede and Oliver Weir for their hard work, achievement and dedication in Maths.

To Eros Di Pace for his fabulous write-up on Bushcraft.  

Junior School Stars of the week:

Rushmoor School w/c 17 June 2019

Reception – Madinah Shafi

1TS – Tom Marshall

2KGL – Junior Muniu

3JM – Farell Kotecha & Gurshaan Kullar

3ST – Danushka Gunasekara

4EB – Kai Wolkenstein

4ET – The Whole Class

5CR – Kian Woolven

5RS – James Gallo  

St Andrew’s School w/c 17 June 2019

Reception – Scarlett Rook

Year 1 – Phoebe Watkin

Year 2 – Agnes Barrett

Year 3/4 – Whole class

Year 5 – Sophie Weston

Year 6 – Poppy Corner    

Rushmoor School w/c 24 June 2019

Reception – Henry Kotecha

1TS – Whole class

2KGL – Ava Georgiou

3JM – Aiya El-Koum

3ST – Harry Clayton

4EB – Majus Hodges

4ET – Angelos Angelopoulos

5CR – Rio Noto

5RS – Whole class  

St Andrew’s School w/c 24 June 2019     

Reception – William Woodrow

Year 1 – Matilda D’Cruze

Year 2 – Arthur Mullaney

Year 3/4 – Florence Stott

Year 5 – Lydia Shortland

Year 6 – Saikeisha Comatchee  

Well done to Charlie on his continued efforts with his chosen water sport.  Last weekend he took part in his first Division 3 Slalom competition, changing his ranking from 34th to 17th due to 2 great runs down the course! 

Well done to Mimi Gardner, year 4, who came 3rd in the Aquathon last week held at Robinson Pool.  A great achievement.     

Thank you to everybody who sent in tombola prizes for the Alliance Summer Fayre, which takes place this Saturday at St Andrew’s School from 11.30 a.m. until 2.00 p.m.  We are extremely grateful to all our PTFA Committee and volunteers for organising the fayre, superbly co-ordinated as usual by Mrs Hendry and Gina Ciuro.  I look forward to seeing you there!  

Whilst writing, could I please remind all parents of the importance, both when dropping off and picking up your son/daughter, of not leaving your car engine running.  We are still receiving complaints from neighbours that this is happening.

Kind regards

I M Daniel, BA (QTS), NPQH

Principal

Principal's Blog - Friday 14 June 2019

Examinations have been at the forefront of everything recently and I have been very impressed with how well the year 11s have been dealing with the pressures of their GCSE examinations. Our year 13 students are also coping well with their final examinations. Both year groups have conducted themselves superbly throughout the process, showing growing maturity. I would like to say thank you to Mr Jones and Mr Evans our Deputy Head Teachers, who have ensured everything has run smoothly (particularly Mr Evans who was given a baptism of fire joining Rushmoor and immediately having to supervise the examination arrangements).  We are now rapidly heading towards the final stretch, after which the students all have a long summer to look forward to, a time to recharge their batteries and await the results which will be available on Thursday 15 August 2019 for A levels and Thursday 22 August 2019 for GCSEs.  My thanks to all the staff who have offered extra booster lessons and those who have administered and invigilated the examinations.

Pupils in other year groups have been busy enjoying enrichment opportunities:

The children who attend our EYFS classes from across the Alliance had a wonderful ‘Forest School’ adventure on 6 June, with a trip to Salcey Forest.  Thank you to Miss Harrow and Miss Lambert for arranging this exciting trip.  The children had a wonderful time playing and learning in a natural environment and enjoying the great outdoors.

Our EYFS children from both schools have also celebrated Father’s Day, which is this weekend, by inviting their Dads and Guardians into the school for a tea party.

Thank you to Mrs Bushell and Miss Glennon for taking the KS1 Rushmoor pupils on a visit to Putnoe Library.  The pirate treasure hunt was a real hit with the children!

Over the half term break, KS1 were assigned a project to design and create an 'Under the Sea' shoe box.  The projects came 'flooding' in, we turned the classroom into an art gallery and displayed our work for the older children of the Junior School to come and see. Well done to KS1 for creating some excellent projects and working extremely hard in topic. 

The girls and boys from years 8 and 9 had the chance to visit Wales last week, visiting the Blue Peris Centre run by Bedford Council.  As always the trip was a huge success and everybody enjoyed the daredevil activities on offer, from abseiling to rock climbing, to canoeing and a whole lot more!  Thank you to Mr Morrish, Miss Dabell, Mr Wyatt, Mr Hawken and Mrs Bradshaw.

While the other year 8 pupils were at Blue Peris, the focus of study in English was the Railway Children.  After watching the film, girls researched Edwardian times, as this is when the Railway Children was set, and gave presentations on the life and times of Edwardian people using a powerpoint presentation. Thank you to Miss Lawrence and Mrs Lowe.  

Alliance pupils from years 3 and 4 visited the John Bunyan museum to learn about the life and works of one of our famous residents, John Bunyan. They also walked around Bedford to have a look at the landmarks that celebrate John Bunyan or were particularly significant to his life.

Recently Rushmoor pupils have been visited by Explore Learning, which is a company that promotes extended learning opportunities outside the school environment.  They have provided our junior pupils with extension work and competitions to complement their school numeracy and literacy lessons.  

In the Junior School, the pupils have been taking part in My Money Week, which is a national activity week for primary and secondary schools that provides a fantastic opportunity for young people to gain the skills, knowledge and confidence in money matters to thrive in society. The pupils have been considering different choices when spending money and have even considered earning their own money by completing household chores.  Not always a popular idea!

Year 1 played a game called ‘What’s in the fridge?’ This was a fun, team game involving sums of money. In Year 2 the children had fun setting up their own shop. Each child was given a budget of £1.50 and had to spend their money wisely. Some very thrifty shoppers were able to buy up to 7 items within their budget.

Following my last blog where I mentioned the girls' achievements in the Junior Maths Challenge, this week I would like to announce the boys’ results.  In year 8, Shea O'Donnell and Oliver Codrington both achieved bronze certificates and in year 7, Jaylin Patel achieved bronze, well done!  

Last night, some of the Year 12 students went to BMS to attend their Careers Event with Mrs Beattie and Miss Rayer.  They were able to attend a variety of sessions relating to a vast array of career and industry areas, from banking, law, and psychology, to how to become a vet, engineer or social media influencer, along with guidance sessions around CVs and interviews.  The students found this very useful and informative when considering all of the post-18 options available to them.  Thank you to BMS for inviting our students along and making them feel so welcome.  

Next week, year 12 are going to the UCAS Exhibition at the University of Bedfordshire, where they will be able to find out even more information about university courses and apprenticeships, also with the armed forces and police in attendance to discuss those career paths.  It is a busy and important time of year for our year 12s, as they begin to attend open days and map out their post-18 routes.    

Sports News:  

The rain has been a problem this week, with many fixtures having to be cancelled.  However, we were delighted that the Rushmoor boys went to the District County Cricket Tournament and that our A team won the tournament and have qualified for the County Finals Day, excellent effort by all involved.  Our B team also performed admirably on the day, finishing in the middle of the leader board, which is commendable – well done to all.  

Year 9/10 girls at St Andrew’s have won all their games in the Rounders league this season.  Congratulations to all who took part.  

KS1 from the alliance attended the multi sports event at BMS last week.  There were many local schools and all the children got to play rounders and various athletics events.  Our pupils showed great team work and enthusiasm.   

I am proud to say that year 2 pupils took part in their first swim fixture at BMS last week, and really enjoyed the experience.  

A team of girls and boys represented St Andrew’s and Rushmoor at the county athletics finals on 12 June.  The weather conditions were awful, but there were great performances from all.  Well done to Evie Maddison for coming 2nd in the 800 metre race and Chaimaka Oriaku for coming 2nd in the 100 metre event.  Congratulations also to Chiamaka who was part of the relay team who came 1st.  Jack Sharp came 1st in the 800 metre race, Malique Roach came 1st in the High Jump, George Leakey came 2nd in the Relay and Luke Holland came 3rd in the 100 metre race.  Tremendous performances from all involved.  

I am very pleased that Rushmoor and St Andrew’s have once again received the Gold Sportsmark Award and congratulations must go to Mr Hawken, Mrs Bassett-Gilham, Miss Pearce and all the sports staff for their dedication.  

I would also like to say thank you to the year 9 boys who have acted as sports leaders recently at an event hosted by BMS.  They are superb role models for all the younger children.    

Principal’s Award:  

Laura Smith in year 7 for her outstanding progress in singing.  

Evie Maddison in year 10 for her overall contribution to school life.  

Henry Svendsen, Tanishk Barve, Ophelia Manser and Ruby Stoughton for consistently good homework and excellent, additional writing for half term homework.  

Jamie Buddle for his great maths work in class.        

Junior School Stars of the week:

Rushmoor School w/c 3 June 2019

Reception – Tom Hall

1TS – Nyah Wooding

2KGL – George Steed

3JM – Errol Bogacki

3ST – Woody Brown

4EB – Ashley Venn

4ET – Ben Handscombe

5CR –  Louis Hyde

5RS – Blaine Kelly  

St Andrew’s School w/c 3 June 2019

Reception – Isla Gleeson & Emily Perry

Year 1 – Matthew Turpie

Year 2 – Isabella Diffey

Year 3/4 – Ayesha Chambers

Year 5 – Tegan Mabbitt

Year 6 – Cerys Holley    

Rushmoor School w/c 10 June 2019

Reception – Eliza Burchell

1TS – Beatrice O’Connor

2KGL – Sebastian Thomas

3JM – Ophelia Manser

3ST – Noah Wetherell

4EB – Oliver Elphick

4ET – Matthew Eaden

5CR – Alex Clayton

5RS – Matthew Broadbent  

St Andrew’s School w/c 10 June 2019

Reception – Oliver Barber

Year 1 – Vedh Muralidharan

Year 2 – Zaynab Baloch

Year 3/4 – Charlotte Allen

Year 5 – Tiger-Lily Fisher-Lowe

Year 6 – Peony Anstee  

Personal Achievements:  

Congratulations to Elsie Francis in year 4 who has been offered one of the very few places available across the Country to the prestigious Royal Ballet School Junior Associate Programme. This programme invites a select few talented students, between the age of 8-10, to train in the Royal Ballet System which runs alongside a pupil’s regular dance training. Elsie will start her training with them in September. What a fabulous achievement Elsie!  

Jacob Adedeji has played for Harrold & Carlton U9 Wolves this season and at the end of season awards, Jacob was awarded “Most Improved Player”.  This comes just after the team narrowly lost out on winning the Cranfield Colts Tournament during extra time in the final.  Jacob captained the team and was given the captain’s shield.  This is a great photo with his arms full of trophies, well done Jacob! 

In the next couple of weeks, we have years 3 and 4 from across the Alliance going off for their residential trip to Green Park, which I am sure they will enjoy.  We also have pupils competing at the ISA National Athletics finals at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham.  This year we have an unprecedented 16 students across the alliance representing London North so good luck to them.  Junior pupils from across the alliance can take part in the fundraising activity ‘pyjamarama’ on Friday 21 June and Den Day will take place for pupils in Key Stage 1.   

The next Parent Council meeting at St Andrew’s will take place at 08.45 on Wednesday 26 June, and at Rushmoor at 08.45 on Thursday 27 June.  All are very welcome, please email Mrs Heaney at St Andrew’s and Mrs Abruzzese at Rushmoor if you will be attending.  

Further ahead, please remember the Summer Fayre on Saturday 29 June, which is compulsory attendance for all pupils as part of their school year calendar, and we hope their families and friends can join them for it.   

The PTFA Summer Ball will take place on Friday 5 July 2019, so please contact the school office if you haven’t already booked your tickets.   

Kind regards    

I M Daniel, BA (QTS), NPQH

Principal

Principal's Blog - Friday 24th May 2019

The English Department has encouraged pupils to participate in creative writing competitions recently and we are very proud of the pupils who submitted entries.  One of our year 7 pupils, Jake Sporle, made it through to the second round of the BBC’s 500 Word Story Competition.  This is an amazing achievement as more than 100,000 children took part in the first round of the competition.  Well done Jake.

The English department also asked pupils to submit entries to The Young Writers’ Awards, which is run by Explore Learning.  It was wonderful to hear that James Bellingham was selected as Regional Winner.  Well done James.

I think it is pleasing that pupils from across the Alliance have the opportunity to take part in events that encourage the development of their English language skills.  These two competitions follow on from our recent success at The Youth Speaks Competition in March and school events, such as the House Poetry Competitions.  All serve as valuable experiences to support the classroom based English skills work.  Thank you to all the English team across the Alliance for promoting such great opportunities.

I was also pleased to hear that on Saturday 11 May, the very committed year 11 girls came into school for four hours of structured revision for their English literature examination. At this stage of the course, the girls are confident in their knowledge and understanding of the texts, so the main aim of this session was to look closely at the wording of questions, ensuring good understanding of what the examiners are looking for, and scaffolding essays in response. Thank you to Mrs Lowe for providing this opportunity.  

The Maths Department entered 7 girls into the Junior Maths Challenge and have now received the results:  Megan Wright, Rachel Carter and Riya Sangha all got Bronze certificates, with Riya also gaining the best in year.  Very well done to all. 

Year 6 pupils from both schools joined together to learn all about first aid skills in a session run by our local St John’s Ambulance.  It was a very hands-on session, with the children enjoying learning about CPR and the recovery position.  Our thanks must go to the St John’s Ambulance staff for running a really enjoyable and informative session. 

Last week, it was the turn of our younger pupils in year 2 from both schools to experience a residential trip.  They visited Harrold Country Park on their first day and then spent the night at Chellington, followed by a second day of activities based both outdoors and then indoors due to the weather.  All the children coped superbly with their first school residential.  My thanks to the staff involved; Mr Thomas, Miss Glennon, Miss De Fortuna and Mrs Chhina.

We were pleased to be involved in the Combined Cadet Force’s Parade to mark the centenary of the visit by King George V to Bedford.  Our cadets were amongst those who were inspected by HRH The Duke of Gloucester.  Well done to the boys and girls from across the Alliance who participated.  I was very proud of you all. 

On Monday 20 May the EYFS children at Rushmoor and St Andrew’s, went on their annual “Muddy Puddle” walk. The weather was glorious, and the children could not complain about the lack of puddles to splash in!! The children were enthusiastic in their hunt for Peppa Pig and friends and, more importantly, in their efforts to raise money for charity. All funds raised will be donated to Save the Children. The children would like to thank the many friends and family that came to support them in their sponsored walk.

As I’m writing this blog the Year 6 pupils are at the Globe Theatre in London.  This links with their current English topic based around ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.  Whilst at the Globe Theatre they will be attending a workshop based on ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and receive a guided visit to the theatre.  I’m sure they are all having a wonderful time and I look forward to hearing about it when they return.

Sports News

The summer sports are now in full swing, with athletics and cricket dominating the fixture lists. 

We were delighted to play hosts once again for The London Region North Independent Schools Association’s Athletics Competition.  Over 30 schools attended the event held at Bedford International Athletics Stadium.  My thanks to Mr Hawken and the rest of the PE staff for organising everything so well done once again.  We were delighted to have 16 pupils from across the Alliance qualify for the National rounds, which will be held in the next half of term. Well done to all those who participated. The students that qualified are:

Yr6- Freddie Wells, James Wookey, Ryan Kirkham, Ben Bramwell and Maddison Agama-Spencer

Yr7- Jack Norman

Yr8/9- DJ Agbenu, Jacob Wells, Christian Wilson, Michael Greatorex, Oliver Frame and Malique Roach

Yr10/11- Oscar Smith, Harvey Creasey, Evie Maddison and Ella Wing.

Sport is an important part of the Alliance and our pupils have a multitude of opportunities, given the fact we are relatively small schools.  Our pupils get the chance to compete against the best in local, county, regional and national events.  The fact that we host two regional events for the ISA, the athletics and the cross-country, means I get a lot of feedback from other schools about sport, and they are always very impressed with what we provide and what our pupils achieve. 

Many of our pupils have been playing cricket over the past couple of weeks, with kwik-cricket fixtures for years 5, 6 and 7 and matches for year 8 against Biddenham; year 9 against Bedford School, Quinton House and Bedford Modern and year 10 against Bedford School.  Even our pupils in years 3 and 4 have been playing cricket, many of them have their first experience of the game over the past few weeks. With the long summer evenings ahead we will see plenty more cricket fixtures taking place. 

Pupils in years 9 and 10 have had rounders fixtures, with the girls winning their match on 20 May – well done girls! 

Well done to the girls who went to York to take part in the ISA National Netball Competition.  You all represented the school fabulously and we are incredibly proud of your achievement in qualifying for the nationals.  You showed great team spirit and determination.  Players of the tournament were Amelia Creasey and Maddie Corley, but the whole team played their part in a fantastic day of netball. Well done. 

I am delighted that both our year 7 and year 8 netball teams are league champions! Year 8 had a storming season and were undefeated, whilst year 7 grew as the competition progressed and finished top having lost just one match, drawn one and won all the others - an amazing achievement from both teams. Very well played everyone!

The year 8, 9 & 10 athletes put their hearts and souls into their performances at the Upper Schools District Athletics Competition on Wednesday. Ophelia, Chino, Chiamaka and Amelia all qualified for the finals of their respective track races (300m, 200m, 100m & 300m) and Chiamaka ran a storming race to finish 2nd in her 100m final. She lost out on first place by one tenth of a second, so it really couldn't have been closer! Fingers crossed, she still makes the County Finals on 12 June.  Evie finished 2nd in her 800m race so we are hopeful that she will also reach the County Finals. They all did us proud - well done girls!   

Reception children, together with years 1 and 2 have been enjoying tennis coaching with Riverside Tennis Club.  More spaces are available, so if your child is interested, please contact the office for further details. 

Well done to year 5 and 6 pupils who attended the cricket competition at Biddenham on 22 May.   

Congratulations to Grace Langridge for receiving a special certificate for determination overall from all the schools.   

Congratulations to the year 5 and 6 girls who stepped in and played rounders on 23 May against BGS.  It was a very enjoyable match.  Special mention to Cerys Holley for playing bowler and well done to Lily and Rosie Fisher-Lowe, two girls new to year 5 who played their first game.  Player of the match was Lily Fisher-Lowe.

Principal’s Award

To Emily Perry in Reception for demonstrating fantastic maths skills using a number line.

To Caroline Demuth for her outstanding writing about charity work, in French, and for taking her Spanish GCSE a year early.  Caroline is a talented linguist.

Diyan Adil and George Whitehurst for their improvement in swimming.  

James Coplin for the keyring he made in DT.  

Jacob Wells and George Leakey for their achievements in Athletics.  

Sebastian Rooke for his fantastic maths work.   

Junior School Stars of the week

Rushmoor School w/c 13 May 2019

Reception – Eliza-Priya Dass

1TS – Nyah Wooding

2KGL – Whole class

3JM – Olivia Crabtree

3ST – Billy Bell

4EB – Jacob Adedeji

4ET – Jacob O’Neill

5CR – Amelia Hurley & Alex Clayton  

5RS – Ollie Instrell    

St Andrew’s School

w/c 13 May 2019

Reception – Emily Perry

Year 1 – Spike Haskins-Yapp

Year 2 – Clara Hendry

Year 3/4 – Betty Taylor

Year 5 – Africa Rose Fisher-Lowe

Year 6 – Ava Hendry  

St Andrew’s School

w/c 20 May 2019

Reception – William Woodrow

Year 1 – Sophie Retout

Year 2 – Scarlett Barber

Year 3/4 – Mia Riley

Year 5 – Charlotte Pettitt

Year 6 – Lillie Morris      

Personal Pursuits

It was heart-warming to hear about Charlotte Allen from year 4 donating her hair to The Little Princess Trust.  What a lovely thing to do.  The trust makes wigs for children who have lost their hair due to illness and each one, apart from needing hair from 10 donors, costs £705 to make. As well as donating her hair, Charlotte has also fund-raised the entire £705, which was supported in the Junior School by a very successful cake sale. We are all very proud of Charlotte.

Congratulations to Jenna Nethersole who has had her first season playing netball for her club. On 18/19 May she had great experience in tournaments and league trophy play offs.  She scored a total of 9 goals and won a runners-up medal.  Jenna has played well in GA and GS this season and has everything to play for next season.

Well done to Grace Langridge who came 2nd in her ice-skating competition, with a PB of 21.91 and a test pass, meaning that, after her next exam she can go up to level 4 at which point she can try out for the British qualifiers. This is an excellent achievement.

I was pleased to hear from Alex Pask who informed me that his football team, Oakley Vipers, won the Fair Play Award for the second year running recently, and to top it off won promotion in the league by finishing second in their division.  Well done Alex!

It is wonderful to hear all about our pupils’ personal pursuits; I was delighted to learn about Luca Lionetti who is a High Sheriff Cadet.  He has been involved in a number of local events as well as committing to attend training each week.  Recently he was at the High Sheriff’s Inauguration and played an active role in the ceremony.  Well done Luca.

The year 13 pupils had their Leavers’ Assembly last week, which I hope they thought was a fitting send off for their final days at the Alliance Sixth Form.  They were our second cohort entering the new Sixth Form and have helped immensely to establish its ethos of a small, welcoming and friendly environment.  I would like to wish you all the very best for your remaining examinations and as you move ahead with your next steps, whether that’s higher education or into the workplace.  You will all be missed and I hope you will stay in touch over the years ahead so that we can enjoy hearing about what life has in store for you.

GCSE, A-level and Cambridge Technical examinations have been running over the past couple of weeks and year 11 and 13 pupils are now officially on exam leave.  The half-term must be used for revision purposes and that revision needs to continue right up until the very last examination takes place.  Teachers are running booster revision sessions and are available to answer any revision queries.  The final stretch is here and the hard work will soon be over, with an extra-long summer break to look forward to!

I hope you all enjoy the half-term break. 

Kind regards

I M Daniel, BA (QTS), NPQH

Principal  

Principal's Blog - Friday 10th May 2019

Firstly, I would like to warmly welcome Mr Alun Evans, Deputy Head Teacher at Rushmoor, to the team. 

My last blog was dated 22 March, which seems an awfully long time ago now!  Now we’ve got over the Easter break and done the Bank Holiday, it is full steam ahead for our senior pupils sitting their GCSE, Cambridge Technical and A-level examinations; I hope they used the holiday period for revision purposes!

Whilst I was away during the Easter break I received the wonderful news that we have finally received planning permission for our Woodland Park site.  We now have the exciting task of moving forward with the finer details and I would be pleased to hear from anybody who has ideas about the building development.  We are in discussion with sponsors and various outside partners and will also be considering ideas such as allowing our past and present families to get involved, perhaps with a ‘sponsor a brick’ style fundraiser.  As you can imagine, there’s lots to think about.

The staff returned for their first day back after the Easter break and were met with a musical theme for the teacher training.  As the whole Alliance staff were together on one site it was also the perfect opportunity to discuss the plans for the new joint site. I followed this with assemblies to the pupils at both schools explaining all about the exciting times ahead.  I linked this in with the theme of perseverance, because we definitely had to persevere with the Bedford Borough planners!  The assemblies touched on the failures and successes everybody faces, such as the entrepreneur Elon Musk and his SpaceX project. 

We introduced a new higher level qualification for our sixth formers this year, Cambridge Technical Business Studies, which is equivalent to 3 A-levels.  The moderator for the exam board visited us recently and I would like to thank Mrs Morris for organising this new course so well and receiving good feedback from the moderator. 

The PE and DT departments also had visits from their moderators, so thank you to Mr Hawken, Miss Pearce, Mrs Bassett-Gilham, Miss Cripps and Mrs Wakeling.

Our sixth formers have the opportunity to add to their UCAS points by working on an Extended Project Qualification.  This can be on any subject they wish, but should show their progress from initial investigation through to the final outcome.  The sixth formers presented their final projects to members of the whole school community.   It was particularly pleasing to see our older pupils enjoying the chance to explain all about their work to the younger pupils, something that is quite unique and promotes the caring and friendly atmosphere we have at the schools; it gives the younger pupils something to aspire to.  My thanks to Miss Rayer for her hard work in co-ordinating the Extended Project Qualification.

Last week, years 7 and 8 at Rushmoor and St Andrew’s took part in the UK Maths Challenge.  The pupils sat the test in the hall, for some this was the first experience of exam conditions.  We should have the results in time for me to put them in the next blog.

Over the Bank Holiday weekend some of the senior pupils from both schools were completing their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition.  It wasn’t the best of weather, but they all survived and seemed in very good spirits when I visited to assess them on Friday evening and Saturday morning.  Well done to all involved and thank you to the staff, Mr Morrish, Mrs Andrews and Mr Mudzvovera.

Well done to Mr Jones, Deputy Head at St Andrew’s, who completed the London Marathon this year; not only is this a tremendous personal accomplishment, but Mr Jones raised funds for Brain Research UK and St Andrew’s pupils attended an assembly which explained all about this worthy cause.

During the Easter holidays, our Combined Cadet Forces pupils took part in the Mobbs Memorial Service.  Charlie Klein from year 10 spoke at the service and was a credit to the school. 

Whilst I write this Blog, I am looking out of the window at the grey sky, with the rain pouring down, and wondering just how the year 5 pupils are going to get on with their Bushcraft experience this week.  I am sure that they will not be defeated by the conditions and will relish the times when the sunshine breaks through the heavy clouds.  I, along with the other year 5 parents, shall look forward to my child arriving home with a bag full of very wet and dirty clothes!  Thank you to all the teachers for organising the trip and giving up your own evenings to attend; Mrs Colbert, Miss Robson, Mrs Kelly, Miss Leeburn, Mr Farnsworth and Mrs Robinson.

Pupils in years 6 and 7 pupils from Rushmoor and St Andrew’s have also been away at the Frontier Centre.  They have been abseiling, canoeing, wall climbing, king swinging, and problem solving among other activities.  Thank you to Mr Breeze, Mr Ferrer, Miss Croft, Mr Fryer, Miss Holyoak, Miss Ralph, Mrs Bassett-Gilham, Mr Jones, Mr Wyatt, Miss Thompson and Mr Mudzvovera.

Sports News:  

I regularly meet with educationalists within our local community and further afield so I was pleased when I was speaking to Gill Morrow from the sporting initiative set up as a legacy of the 2012 Olympic.  Gill works for Team Beds and Luton and I am on the local organising committee.  Gill is conducting a sports exercise survey and she was very impressed with the amount of fitness opportunities the girls have across our alliance, which I was pleased to hear as it underlines our commitment to our pupils’ wellbeing. Both schools have the Gold award for sports involvement.

The girls from St Andrew’s had a strong finish to the cross country season, competing at the Alameda School event, and the ISA competition – a fantastic achievement to reach this stage.

Well done to the year 7 netball team who played in the District tournament on 26 March.  The girls showed tremendous determination and perseverance in a set of very close matches.  Player of the tournament was Olivia Patel who was consistent throughout and put in a great performance on her birthday!

I would like to congratulate the year 8 girls for reaching the ISA Netball finals which takes place in York on Saturday 11 May.  Good luck, and enjoy the day. Thank you to Mrs Bassett-Gilham and Miss Pearce for accompanying them.

I hope that you heard the news about our pupils who represented the UK at the World Indoor Skydiving Competition in Lille over Easter. It’s been on local press sites and on our social media platforms.  A massive well done to George Clayton, Jelena Ilic, Jorja Bell and Zac Myles.  Also, thank you to each of the parents for supporting the team so well.  Our pupils looked quite young in comparison to the other teams, so I have no doubt they will go from strength to strength over the years ahead.  Fourth place in the World this year...what next?

The summer term is always a busy one for sporting fixtures and we have got off to a great start already with years 7, 8, 9 and 10 competing in the Athletics League.  We’ve had Malique Roach winning the 80 metre hurdles and Oscar Smith came second in his event.  Well done to all participants.  At the fixture on 7 May, both boys and girls teams gave strong performances and finished in first place.

Year 5 had their first cricket match of the season against Bedford School and year 6 had a friendly football match against Oakley Primary School.

Well done to the year 5/6 girls who played in their first rounders match against BGS on 25 April.  They all played very well and player of the match went to Grace Langridge.  They then played against Westfield School and had a convincing win despite the rain. Well done too to the year 9/10 team who played against Biddenham. Player of this match was Ophelia Humphrey.  

Lastly, but by no means least, huge congratulations must go to our year 3 and 4 pupils who made up the Alliance team at the Quadkids Competition.  Out of the 43 schools who took part, our team came second, which means they are now through to the County finals.  Superb effort and well done to all the team members.

Nursery News at St Andrews:

At the St Andrew’s pre-school this week the children have been looking at the letter ‘B’, and have linked this with babies, balloons and beetroot.  The children have brought in photographs of themselves as babies, they have played with balloons, and they have cooked beetroot – to taste it and have also used the water to do some tie-dying.  The children in Robins and Owls have also made some banana loaf.

Rushmoor Robins News:  

This week the children in Rushmoor Robins and Reception Class have been on a storytelling journey. The children have been learning how to change a familiar story to create their own version. They have been creating their own version of the story, ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff.’  The children used resources to create their own story setting and selected their own characters.  After telling their stories, using props, the children made books of their own stories.  It is great to see our pupils loving books and reading at such a young age.      

Principal’s Award:

Jacob O’Neill for excellent work in humanities.

Joshua Thornton for his confident, detailed (and humorous) presentation on the weather in his geography lesson.

Elizabeth Hazel in year 10 who achieved a Merit in her grade 4 Pop Vocals exam with the London College of Music.

Hannah Amor in year 8 who achieved a Merit in her grade 3 Musical Theatre exam with the London College of Music. 

Caroline Demuth in year 10 for taking her Spanish GCSE a year early.

Junior School Stars of the week:

Rushmoor School

w/c 29 April 2019

Reception – Arthur Lees

1TS – Beatrice O’Connor

2KGL – Alex Harrison

3JM – Yazan Ghazzawi

3ST – Ethan Ndokera

4EB – Oliver Elphick

4ET – Ethan Watson

5CR – Ali Ghazzawi

5RS – Jonathan Camatchee  

St Andrew’s School

w/c 29 April 2019

Reception – Scarlett Rook

Year 1 – Fox Choy

Year 2 – Grace Perry

Year 3/4 – Scarlett Barber

Year 5 – Elizabeth Seddon

Year 6 – Ava Hendry    

Rushmoor School

w/c 6 May 2019

Reception – Harvey Reynolds

1TS – Nyah Wooding

2KGL – Elle Nyoni

3JM – Ruby Stoughton

3ST – Woody Brown

4EB – Kai Wolkenstein

4ET – Oscar Wood

5CR & 5RS – the whole year for being great at Bushcraft!  

St Andrew’s School

w/c 6 May 2019     

Reception – Oliver Barber

Year 1 – Max Hendry

Year 2 – Tiggy Willcocks

Year 3/4 – Perpetual Nyamtowo

Year 5 – Kimora Darragh

Year 6 – Poppy Corner    

Personal Pursuits:  

Congratulations to Tiggy Willcocks in year 2 at St Andrew’s who has won the award for Most Improved Player for the U8’s at Milton Keynes Hockey Club.  

Well done to Mia Moliterno in year 8 for raising money for Lulu’s Appeal by overcoming her fears and doing a bungee jump at Twinwoods.

Ben Handscombe attended a cricket coaching camp in the holidays and was awarded Player of the Week for his hard work.  Congratulations Ben!

Well done to Harry Smith from year 7 who was awarded U12 Boys Most Improved Player by Milton Keynes Hockey Club at their end of season event.  Given that he didn’t start goalkeeping until the middle of November, Harry rose to the challenge as the A team goalie at the Bucks County Championships in March, at which he saved a penalty flick from the top ranking Marlow team.  Excellent effort Harry and we look forward to hearing more about your progress over the years to come.  

Kind regards

I M Daniel, BA (QTS), NPQH

Principal

Principal's Blog - Friday 22 March 2019

When I am showing visitors around the schools it is wonderful to see some of our pupils taking their peripatetic music lessons.  Lessons I have watched recently include Joe Davis playing the piano beautifully and Tabitha Crocker singing amazingly well. Extensive studies have shown that children display long-term positive results from playing musical instruments and singing.  Scientists believe that some of the benefits of learning a musical instrument include increased comprehension and math skills, better coordination, and a greater capacity for memory. If your child is interested in taking up a musical instrument, please contact the school office for further details. 

Last week the Mathematics Departments across the Alliance took part in Pi Day.  Pupils from across the age groups learnt about the meaning of Pi through a variety of fun activities including a Pi baking competition.  Thank you to the maths teachers involved.

The fun and games continued on Friday 15 March for Comic Relief.  Thank you to everybody who donated, we raised an incredible £850 across the Alliance for this worthy cause.  My thanks to all the staff who arranged activities throughout the day for the pupils, particularly those brave souls who took on the Pie Face Challenge! It was great to see so many happy children enjoying watching their teachers get covered in foam.

PTFA Ladies Night

Oh what a night!  This time the venue was St Andrew’s School and we would like to say a huge thank you to the ladies who came along on the evening of 15 March to support this PTFA fundraiser.  It was a great opportunity to browse beauty products, try out treatments and enjoy a fashion show.  Well done to the organisers, we are all very grateful for your efforts in raising additional funding to benefit all the pupils across the Alliance.  Once again, a huge thank you to Gina for organising this event so well.

As if our GCSE year 11 students didn’t need a reminder that the formal written examinations are looming, both schools have received visits from moderators for PE during the past fortnight.  This is the first year that the new 9-1 GCSE PE course has been taken at the schools and the physical moderation element has changed, with different rulings applied.  I used to be a PE moderator a long time ago, so I am always interested to know how these days go and I was advised by our sports staff that the pupils behaved impeccably throughout, showing skill and determination. 

Year 11 drama students at both schools have been preparing for their moderation visits during the past two weeks and have now given their final performance, so another practical element of their GCSE grades completed.  The drama teachers from both schools said that the performances were well received by the audiences.  Now the pupils can concentrate on the written elements of the GCSE.  The A level group has also been performing their final exam.

There have also been English spoken language GCSE examinations taking place across the Alliance.  Although these marks no longer form part of the overall pass grade in the new 9-1 system the result is recorded on the examination board certificates. 

We were all delighted that our year 10 boys’ drama group won the creative performance class at The Bedfordshire Festival recently. They achieved an ‘outstanding’, the highest mark possible.  Apparently their performance brought tears to the judge’s eyes. Well done to all involved for following in the footsteps of many Rushmoor boys over the years who have performed well in drama competitions.  Thank you to Mrs Gittins for her guidance.                                            

I would also like to congratulate Gabriel-Joel Holland in year 2 at St Andrew’s who came third in his category at the Bedfordshire Music Festival.

Rushmoor pupils will be visiting Montpellier over the next few days with Madame Lewis, Madame Thiebeaux and Mrs Green.  The trip is designed to improve the conversational French skills for our GCSE pupils studying French.  They will spend some time in a French school and also have the opportunity to visit places of historical interest.  I am sure they will all have a fabulous learning experience.  Thank you to Madame Lewis for arranging this trip once again.

Yesterday, 21 March, our year 6 pupils from across the Alliance visited The Houses of Parliament.  This links in with their studies in citizenship about how the British government system works.  It is a fascinating place to visit, but given the ever-changing Brexit negotiations constantly in the news, it makes it even more relevant at the moment.  I am sure that the children will have lots to debate following their visit. 

Pupils from across the Alliance were invited to participate in the ISA London North Music Festival today, which took place at Union Chapel.  Thank you to Mr Day and Mrs Shackleton for arranging this opportunity. 

Rushmoor boys went along to a meeting on 15 March to learn about the National Young Writers' Awards run by Explore Learning (based in Sainsbury’s). Children who enter the competition have the chance to win a family holiday to Disneyland Paris.  Schools have the chance to win £500 worth of books.

I am pleased to report that the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh group recently went on a practice expedition, and Lola Remond wrote the following report: “On Saturday 9 March the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh group went on a walk through Rowney Warren woods near Shefford, then on to Elstow where we had a lunch at the Red Lion Pub. It was an incredibly windy day, and the walk was around 8 miles (which was insane for 15 teenagers on a Saturday morning). However, we had a good laugh along the way, realised we needed better footwear, but we all made it in the end for a well-earned meal and drink. Thank you so much to Mrs Andrews and Mr Mudzvovera for the hilarious afternoon, we are so glad to have you as our DofE leaders.  

Year 3 pupils at Rushmoor visited Darell Jeffreys House on Thursday 21 March.  The children had a wonderful time listening to the residents’ stories about wartime Britain.  The staff and residents had created some superb displays of photographs and other memorabilia from their own families.  This made the whole experience all the more personal and special for the children.  We all enjoyed hearing the residents’ stories; some exciting, some funny and some very moving. As an extra special treat, the children thoroughly enjoyed tucking into the delicious cakes and drinks provided for them.  We were very proud of how polite and intelligent the pupils were, and of how they clearly appreciated this special opportunity to learn first-hand about the past. We are very grateful to the staff and residents of Darell Jeffreys House for inviting us to visit and look forward to meeting up again in the future.  

This term in creative curriculum, Key Stage 1 have been learning all about 'Earth and Space'. It was great to see so many parents attend the showcase the children put on to display all they have learnt across the last term. They enjoyed showing their fantastic art work, their writing about Neil Armstrong and even sang some of the songs they have been learning in music.

Thank you to all the parents who attended the afternoon and to Miss Glennon for running the event. A big well done to KS1 for all your hard work and effort this term.  

On Monday year 8 girls at St Andrew’s held a cake sale to raise money to support a local homeless charity.  The girls raised £73.50 and today purchased items to donate.  Thank you to all who supported this.

Maths

Two boys from year 10, Olivier Gaillard and Luke Barton, sat the next round of the UKMT maths challenge on Thursday 21 March.  Only the top scoring students (years 9-11) in the country from the first round are eligible to sit this next paper and we await their results eagerly.

This week the boys in years 7 and 8 enjoyed taking part in two different maths workshops held by Explore Learning.  The year 8 boys looked at problem solving and mathematical reasoning alongside budgeting, by taking part in a workshop entitled ‘Break the Budget’, based around working as a travel agent.  The year 7 boys also solved problems by comparing data and were put in the situation of working in a phone shop and had to calculate averages and compare contract offers.  All the boys seemed to enjoy the lessons and were encouraged to be creative in their thinking and we were really proud of how they all responded to the activities.

Sports News

On 14 March the year 7/8 girls at St Andrew’s continued their netball league matches against Bedford Academy.  The year 7 match turned out to be an aggressive game and the girls had to find all their determination, eventually fighting back to a final score of 5-5.  There was a fantastic final goal from Katelyn Gostelow, Demi Sunda was captain, and player of the match was Olivia Patel who was everywhere on court.  Year 8 dominated their game from the start, despite a challenging opposition, and played with a great team spirit.  Without doubt their extra training with Mrs Bassett-Gilham has paid off, and the final score was an amazing 15-1.  Player of the match was Ella Stone.   

The year 8 netball team were thrilled with their new netball dresses which arrived last week ahead of the ISA National Finals scheduled for Saturday 16 March.  Unfortunately, the tournament was cancelled due to the bad weather forecast for York on the day of the finals. The girls were bitterly disappointed as they had been looking forward to this event since qualifying in February. The finals have been rearranged for Saturday 11 May.  Good luck girls.  

On 12 March the year 7/8 hockey team played BGS in a friendly match. It was a close fought contest with St Andrew’s displaying some excellent skills in both attack and defence.  Two fantastic goals from Izzie Whitford and some equally fantastic saves from Ada Padbury were not quite enough to stop BGS sneaking a last minute goal and a 3-2 win. Well done to the St Andrew’s players, many of them making a debut in hockey.  Player of the match was Ada Padbury for her superb goal keeping.    

Well done to the year 7/8 hockey team who came 1st place in the hockey league held at Goldington Acadamy. A tremendous achievement for all girls and staff involved.        

As we write this blog, the year 5/6 boys and girls are competing at the ISA mixed hockey tournament.  We wish them luck.

We have had another incredibly busy term in PE at Rushmoor. When we reach the Easter holidays the department will have run 70 individual fixtures over the time we have been back since Christmas.  This is again a huge testament to not only the commitment of the staff but also of the students and parents who support the fixtures.  We have expanded the number of sports we compete in with both Squash and Basketball fixtures taking place, we have also had a far greater number of swimming and football fixtures having entered the local Football leagues from year 7 through to year 10.  A particularly pleasing aspect of this term has been the number of B/C team fixtures played which has provided more opportunities for a greater range of students to participate. To conclude I would like to thank the members of the PE department and the students for their commitment over the term.  I look forward to the summer term with cricket and athletics fixtures.

Mr Thomas has arranged a number of football fixtures for the Junior School this fortnight.  The year 5's finished their football season with a great 4-3 win at Bedford School.  The boys played extremely well and have improved greatly as a team throughout the season. The boys were praised by opposition teachers and parents for their behaviour on and off the pitch something I am very proud of.  MoM Alex Clayton.

The year 4 football team played BMS yesterday in what turned out to be an extremely competitive match.  The boys won 1-0 sticking to their tactics perfectly. They played with great shape and always looked dangerous on the break. They should all be very proud of the cracking result.  MoM Jacob Adedeji.

Two year 6 football teams played against BMS on Tuesday. The a's were unlucky to draw 1-1 in a very competitive match.  The boys kept their defensive shape well and looked dangerous on the counter attack.  It was very pleasing to hear so much encouragement from the players on the pitch for each other.   MoM Charlie Ridgeon.  The b's enjoyed their match and improved as the game went on.  The boys lost, but it was great to see their fantastic attitudes throughout the game. MoM Boris Broadbent. 

Swimming season is going strong this term with regular training sessions on a Monday afternoon and a number of galas.  Pupils took part in 2 swimming galas at Bedford School for the Juniors and Seniors and one at BMS for students from year 6 to year 10.  They had a brilliant time and we could see great progress from them all.  I am looking forward to seeing Rushmoor Junior pupils in action again in our last swimming gala next Monday 25 March against BMS.  

Good luck to Jorja, Jelena, Zak and George who form the Skydive Recruitz Ice team who will be competing in the World Challenge on the 5 and 6 April at Twinwoods in Bedford.  They are also attending the World Indoor Skydiving Championships on 16 April in Lille, France. What an amazing experience for them all.  We are very proud of their efforts and achievements. We are also proud to sponsor their jump suits on this occasion.

ISA Athlete of the Month

Grace Langridge was nominated for January: Grace is a dedicated figure skater, training 8 times a week and also doing ballet to help with posture and movement. She trains at Milton Keynes with a figure skating and jumping coach and competes at National Ice Skating Association Level 3. She has to perform a program of moves and jumps, including double jumps and an axel jump, which is the most difficult single jump to perform in ice skating. Grace competes in national competitions and has placed as high as second. Her next goal is to qualify for the British Championships in 2020.

Ella Stone was nominated for February:  Ella is a swimmer and trains six times a week, having been recently selected to join the Central Bedfordshire Swim Squad, a privilege only extended to those with regional times. She has won over 100 medals and earlier this month was presented with her County Colours at the Bedfordshire County Championships. Ella swam at her first regional competition in May 2018 and will compete again this year. Her favourite race is 200m medley, at which she is county champion. She is highly dedicated to her sport and is aiming for Olympic glory in a few years’ time!

ISA Artist of the Month - March

Sam Buck is nominated for this month due to his application and commitment to the subject.  He has been working to develop his painting skills and this piece shows a distinct, personal style.  'Crystal Vase' in acrylic is his response to this year's GCSE exam theme.  

Shelby Gwiza has explored the theme of Natural Forms to develop her final ceramic piece. She used techniques and processes with care to realise her design intentions, making considered choices that were informed by her sketchbook work.  

EYFS News at St Andrews

Reception class at St Andrew’s have welcomed some new arrivals! After patiently waiting and watching for 19 days, the children saw 6 eggs hatch before their very eyes! Inspired by the excitement, the children have been recording what they have seen in their Chick Diaries. The chicks have recently moved into their brooding box to eat and drink independently. The children have loved the chick hatching experience and after taking care of the chicks for a few days, they are equally as excited for the chicks to journey on to their ‘forever home’. A very big “thank you” to Mrs Russell who has organised and overseen the fluffy experience. A wonderful end to their theme of the fortnight, Signs of Spring.

Rushmoor Robins News

In EYFS the children have been on an exciting learning journey this week.  On Monday they came into school to discover a tea party had been set up by each of the magical doors. The children found a tiny letter left addressed to them explaining that the Wishkins had magical pet hedgehogs and they were preparing for a party to celebrate the Hedgehogs waking up for Spring.  They have spent the week writing letters and making posters to help find the hedgehogs, you may have seen some of these in reception and near my office.  You will be happy to hear that the hedgehogs were found this morning and presented each child a certificate to thank them for helping them find home! 

Principal’s Award

Ophelia Humphrey in year 10 for her hard work and improvement in Physics, including her mastering nuclear decay equations.

Joe Davis for playing a note-perfect piece on the piano.  

Aiya El-Koum and Ben Handscombe for their performances at the Beds Festival.

Junior School Stars of the week

Rushmoor School w/c 11 March 2019

Reception – Harvey Reynolds

1TS – Charlie Benson

2KGL – Sebastian Thomas

3JM – Henry Svendsen

3ST – Jae Sunda

4EB – Alex Thompson

4ET – Alex Timpau-Rat

5CR – Oliver Millard

5RS – Sam Harper  

St Andrew’s School

w/c 11 March 2019

Reception – Liliana Sepede

Year 1 – Spike Haskins-Yapp

Year 2 – Emma Hindocha

Year 3/4 – Amelia Gardner

Year 5 – Matilda Aston

Year 6 – Poppy Corner    

Rushmoor School

w/c 18 March 2019

Reception – Arthue Lees

1TS – Charlie Benson

2KGL – Ava Georgiou

3JM – Ruby Stoughton

3ST – Billy Bell

4EB – Arman Treis

4ET – Preetish Kaushik

5CR – Oliver Millard

5RS – Rhys Brown  

St Andrew’s School

w/c 18 March 2019     

Reception – Emily Perry

Year 1 – Elijah Masih

Year 2 – Ruby Parrish

Year 3/4 – Rosalia Hendry

Year 5 – Kimora Darragh

Year 6 – Marcelina Laczycki  

Congratulations to Ella Stone in year 8 for her continued success at swimming.  On Saturday 16 March she was awarded two first places and a trophy for “improver of the year” in her squad.  Well done Ella.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish Mr Jones, Deputy Head at St Andrew’s, continued success with his training as he prepares for the London Marathon.  We will watch with interest as he runs in London on Sunday 28 April and hope he enjoys this tough challenge.  Any contributions to his charity, Brain Research Trust, would be most welcome, and can be made via his just giving link: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiserdisplay/showROFundraiserPageuserUrl=AshleyJones28&pageUrl=1

The PTFA have arranged the Rushmoor and St Andrew’s School Ball for Friday 5 July at 7.00pm at The Sharnbrook Hotel.  It is always a fantastic night for parents and staff to socialise.  If you would like to buy tickets, or book a table, please contact Gina on 01234 352031 or at gciuro@rushmoorschool.co.uk

Kind regards

I M Daniel, BA (QTS), NPQH

Principal

Principal's Blog - Friday 8th March 2019

Thank you to the pupils who came along to the Alliance Open Morning on Saturday.  We were pleased with the number of visitors and our pupils represented the schools superbly.  There were some great displays for our visitors to see, including cookery and science experiments.  

Last week some of our governors and myself spent many hours listening to the appeal regarding our plans to move to the new site at Woodlands Park.  We will not hear the result of the appeal for a few weeks and will advise parents of the outcome in due course.  We remain cautiously optimistic that our exciting plans for the future will be allowed to go ahead.   

A reminder that construction work on Bromham Bridge may cause traffic disruption.  Please bear this in mind on your journeys to and from school.  

I would like to remind Rushmoor parents to ensure they park legally when picking up their children from school.  Please do not park on double yellow lines or block residents’ driveways.  

We are very proud of Oscar Smith, Navraj Waraich, and Harry Watling for competing in the final of the Rotary Club's 'Youth Speaks' competition. The boys' topic was 'What do we have to fear from artificial intelligence?' Harry spoke about our growing reliance on artificial intelligence, followed by Navraj talking about its potential and Oscar drawing the team's arguments together with clarity; leaving the listener alarmed yet intrigued, which resulted in Oscar receiving the award for the best summarising piece.  Well done to all the boys who were superb and only just pipped at the post.  We’ve had some excellent feedback from those watching the performances, which is great.  

Pupils from year 4 at Rushmoor visited The Polar Research Institute in Cambridge.  They learned about how explorers plan for a trip, the clothes and supplies they need to take and the challenges they face. The pupils also visited the Fitzwilliam Museum which boasts one of the best collections of antiquities and modern art in Western Europe.  Our pupils particularly enjoyed the armoury.    

Pupils from across the Alliance were invited to take part in the ISA Arts Shakspeare Monalogues Competition.   We were very impressed by the standard of performances, with fantastic effort from all the pupils involved.  Isaac Bargroff, Raza Sarwar, Ellery Few-Wiegratz and Toby Sutliff, together with Lillie King and Amy Parrish had their performances videoed and sent through to the ISA for the final round.  Well done to everybody who took part.  Our year 12 A-level geography students went off to the Dorset coast recently and they were very lucky to have wonderful weather in February!  The trip has elements of classroom based work and field trips, including exploring the famous Durdle Door natural limestone arch along the Jurassic Coast.  Thank you to Miss Ross and Miss Lawrence for accompanying the students.  

St Andrew’s junior pupils received a visit from St John's Ambulance.  They learnt about how to make a 999 call and how to put a bandage on.  They were also able to look inside an ambulance, which they all thoroughly enjoyed.   

Once again the Alliance hosted the ISA London Region Cross-Country Event, this year at Mowsbury Park.  Thank you to Mr Hawken and all the team of staff and parents who helped man this event.   Pupils from across the Alliance ran really well, with a number going through to the national finals at Princethorpe School.  

Pupils from years 2 and 3 from Rushmoor took part in a swimming gala last week with pupils from local schools.  It proved to be an enjoyable experience and sets them up well for the more competitive sporting events in the future.   

It was the turn of the senior pupils this week.  We had 2 teams going for a swimming gala against Bedford School.  All the boys gave great performances which showed in their results in both individual races and relays. Thank you to Bedford School for hosting the event.  

There are a number of extra-curricular clubs that run across the Alliance, including junior drama club.  It is wonderful to see the children interacting so well together at these joint opportunities.  Thank you to Mrs Stott and Mrs Djukic who run the drama club.   

Today, our sixth form students have had the chance to visit the Milton Keynes University and Apprenticeship Fair.  This event provides our sixth formers with the opportunity to speak to numerous exhibiting universities and apprenticeship providers, which I hope they find helpful as they consider their next steps.    

ISA - Rushmoor Artist of the Month: February

Alex Parsons is nominated for this month due to the exceptional drawing skills he exhibits regularly. 'Feather' in Biro is his response to a homework assignment.  

Joe Herne is also nominated this month for an outstanding piece of creative homework showing his dedication to the subject outside the classroom. His piece 'One Dozen' is a response to a theme of the same title. The piece is a plaster of Paris tile made by pressing flowers into a slab of clay them taking a cast of the impression.   

St Andrew’s Artist of the Month: February

Nomination for this month goes to Jemima Tompkins for her continued drive towards achieving her best possible GCSE outcome. She shows true commitment and focus both in and outside of lessons.  

Bedfordshire Festival of Music, Speech and Drama

Pupils from Rushmoor and St Andrew’s have been taking part in the Beds Festival this week.  They have all put a lot of effort into rehearsing and congratulations must go to all who have been involved.  Special mention to Carmen Forton, Isabelle Clegg, Aadhi Arun and Ben Handscombe who were all placed third in their individual events – an excellent achievement.  Rushmoor Year 7 pupils came third in the poetry class with the judge saying their opening gave her goose bumps and it was highly imaginative!  Well done Tom Gee, Tom Sutliff, Sam Spary, Nathan Johnson, Jack Christy- who got a special mention from judge, Xander Hart and Luca Fattorini.  The Festival continues into Saturday and we still have some pupils to perform, so the very best of luck to them.  

Sports News:

At the ISA cross country competition on 26 February, in unusually warm weather, the St Andrew’s girls from year 3 and 4 ran extremely well.  A special mention to Bronwyn Phillips and Deborah Nyamtowo for whom this was their first race, and also to Grace Langridge for finishing 25th out of over 100 runners.   

The year 7 and 8 girls had amazingly good runs, with Demi Sunda, Kasey Darnton, Ruby Ryall and Amelia Creasey all finishing in the first ten places.  As soon as the girls were back to school the year 7/8s set off to play in hockey matches.  

At St Andrew’s the year 7/8 girls have been very dedicated in attending hockey club, rain or shine, and when the hockey tournament commenced only a few girls could be selected to play on 21 and 28 February.  The girls played very well, winning one game and drawing two.  They enjoyed playing so much that the PE staff arranged friendly matches for them, enabling the girls who hadn’t yet played to have a match.  On 5 March St Andrew’s played against Castle Newnham and Goldington.  Well done to Amy Pattinson who was persuaded to play in goal and was awarded player of the match for saving lots of goals.  In the second team, Olivia Patel was awarded player of the match.  The girls played well as a team and another match is arranged for 8 March (junior school) and 12 March (senior school) against BGS.  

The St Andrew’s year 4 girls took part in a cross-country relay event at Rowney Warren on 6 March.  The girls ran well as a team and enjoyed the event despite the rain.  I would like to thank, once again, the parents for their great support.  

Well done to the year 5/6 girls who finished 3rd at the Rowney Warren relay event.  

Well done to the year 7/8 girls who once again were fully involved in sport on Wednesday 6 March - Rowney Warren cross country in the afternoon followed by netball league matches after school.  

The success of year 7/8 in their Netball League continued this week when St Andrew’s hosted Bedford Free School. The year 7 match was close at the beginning, but ended with a convincing 9-2 win. A great team performance. Players of the match were Olivia Patel and  Katelyn Gostelow.  Year 8 put in their best performance of the season so far - excellent in all areas of the court which is great to see, just a fortnight away from the ISA National Finals! They beat the Free School 22-3. Players of the match were Amelia Creasey and Izzie Whitford.  Very well played everyone. Next week St Andrew’s play against Sandy Upper on Wednesday and also have a re-arranged game against Bedford Academy on Thursday, so a busy week of netball ahead. Good luck to all.   

This week saw a number of year groups get their football league campaigns up and running. The year 9 team fought back from a defeat in their first league fixture at Stratton Upper to win a very competitive fixture away against Samuel Whitbread B team.  The year 7 and 10 teams both had very competitive games showing some good signs for future fixtures.  The year 11 team travelled to Pitsford for a game that doubled up as a GCSE moderation opportunity, the team worked well together and came away with a pleasing win.  In the coming weeks we have a large number of league football fixtures as well as some 7-a-side B team events that will provide a great opportunity for more students to play competitive football for the school.

Year 8s got their league campaign off to a flying start with a win against a strong Bedford Free School.  After a tight first half they finished the match as 3-1 winners. Goals were scored by Ben Clarke, Oliver Codrington and Irekitan Ogundeyin. Man of the match: Harry Phillips. Well done to all students involved.  

On Friday 1 March we took 25 boys to BMS for U9 a, b, c fixtures.  All the teams played good football taking part in some very competitive games.  The boys had a great afternoon and were a credit to the school.  It is great to see us having the depth of talent to be able to put out three teams and seeing them all represent the school so positively.  

It was great to see another fixture for the alliance this week.  Twenty-one students from both schools took part in the Year 3 & 4 multisports event held at Biddenham Upper School.  These events are an excellent opportunity for our children to gain confidence in competitive match situations.  A special mention to Matthew Eaden who won the ‘passion for sport certificate’ which was awarded by the event organisers.

Junior News:

As part of World Book Day activities, Reception, year 1 and year 2 went to visit Bedford Central Library. The children and staff walked to the library and met the librarian to find how libraries work. They were shown how the books are arranged and how the library staff put the books in alphabetical order. They found the non-fiction and the fiction sections - and even had time to read some books! The children asked the librarian lots of questions and now know there are more than 87,000 books in the library and over 17,000 in the children’s section!  Before leaving the library, some of the children used their own library cards to borrow exciting books from the library. The librarian gave the children leaflets about the library to bring back to school and told them about some of the interesting activities for children that take place in the library during the school holidays. What a great start to World Book Day.  

Rushmoor and St Andrew’s Junior Schools enjoyed dressing up as their favourite book character yesterday.  We also arranged a book swap to raise money for FACES (Family and Children's Early-help Services).  FACES is a well-established local charity offering practical and emotional support to families under stress.  Their aim is to support families during difficult periods in their lives, especially where this will contribute to keeping children with their families.  

EYFS News:

At St Andrew’s Nursery, the babies now have a wonderful new sensory room with lights and sounds providing the babies with time to explore and relax.  They are enjoying the light-up pebbles and are learning colours as they change.  There are also different textured materials and a variety of sounds to listen to.  

“The senses, being explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge.  Our apparatus for educating the senses offers the child a key guide to his explorations of the world….”  Dr Maria Montesso    

The EYFS pupils at Rushmoor came into school on Monday to discover that a small box had been left by one of the magical doors.  Inside the box there was a note, which explained to the children that the enchanted creatures living behind the door are Wishkins.  They are nocturnal creatures and like to come out to play at night.  The Wishkins asked the children to not touch the door when the sun is out because they are sleeping.  The creatures asked the children to design an enchanted garden for the creatures to play in.  Next week the children will be using a range of natural resources to create their garden designs and I hope to show you some photos of their master-pieces.      

Principal’s Award:  

Alex Parsons for his outstanding artwork.

Woody Brown for his Literacy classwork.

Elyn Daniel for her maths work.

Alessio Sepede for his English.

Bay Chater for incredible encouragement, caring and sharing with taster pupils this week.

Junior School Stars of the week:        

Rushmoor School w/c 25 February 2019

Reception – Rahaf Adam

1TS – Charlie Benson

2KGL – George Steed

3JM – Gurshaan Kullar

3ST – Qais Ghazzawi

4EB – Albie Beeden

4ET – Matthew Eaden

5CR – Oliver Millard

5RS – Oliver Hurley  

St Andrew’s School w/c 25 February 2019

Reception – Oliver Barber

Year 1 – Vedh Muralidharan

Year 2 – Agnes Barrett

Year 3/4 – Sophie Muwanga

Year 5 – Amy Parrish

Year 6 – Phoebe Phillips    

Rushmoor School w/c 4 March 2019

Reception – Tom Hall

1TS – Erin Eaden

2KGL – India Ward

3JM – Yazan Ghazzawi

3ST –  Noah Wetherell

4EB – George Penlington

4ET – Arthur Surridge

5CR – Amelia Hurley

5RS – Whole class  

St Andrew’s School w/c 4 March 2019     

Reception – Isla Gleeson

Year 1 – Max Hendry

Year 2 – Zaynab Baloch

Year 3/4 – Betty Taylor

Year 5 – Jenna Nethersole

Year 6 – Eliana Hashemi  

Personal Pursuits:

I was delighted to hear about Matilda from year 5 at St Andrew’s taking part in her first competitive hockey tournament recently.  Matilda plays for Bedford Hockey Club’s U10s A-Team as their goalkeeper.  They won every match, so Matilda is obviously doing a great job.  Well done!  

Also well done to Rachel Carter for receiving a black Dan in her recent Karate grading – an outstanding achievement.      

It was great to hear that Arthur Surridge was made seconder in his cub pack this week.  Well done Arthur!  

Well done to Thomas Sutliff for being recognised for never missing a tackle in his recent games playing for Olney Rugby Club.  

As this Blog goes into circulation, some of our junior pupils at Rushmoor and St Andrew’s are taking part in ‘The Big Night In’.  The children have been invited to watch The Greatest Showman, whilst eating pizza and popcorn.  All proceeds from ticket sales are going to The Blue Cross Charity.  Thank you to Miss Glennon and the Junior School Council for organising this fundraising event.  

Blue Cross is a registered animal welfare charity and has been helping animals since 1897 by providing support for pet owners who cannot afford private veterinary treatment, helping to find homes for unwanted animals, and educating the public in the responsibilities of animal ownership. A very worthy cause for us to support.    

Kind regards I M Daniel, BA (QTS), NPQH

Principal

Principal's Blog - Friday 22nd February 2019

I hope all our pupils and their families enjoyed the half term break.   

For those of you who use Instagram and FaceBook, I hope that you are enjoying the more regular posts showing what our pupils are doing during their school days.  In this instant-electronic age, most schools are moving towards these types of platforms instead of the traditional Newsletters.   

Please be aware that the Bromham Road Bridge is soon to be demolished to make way for overhead power lines.  This work is due to start on 4 March 2019 and further information can be found here https://www.networkrail.co.uk/running-the-railway/our-routes/lne-and-em/midland-main-line-improvement-programme/bromham-road-bridge/  There is a public information event on today: Friday 22 February between 15:00 and 19:00 at the Park Inn Hotel, 2 St Mary's St, Bedford, MK42 0AR or call Network Rail National Helpline on 03457 11 41 41 for more information.  Please bear this in mind when travelling to school for the period of the works as this may add more time to your journey to school.  

Before half-term pupils from across the alliance participated in the Youth Speaks Competition.  Well done to Tabitha, Caroline, Evie, Oscar, Navraj and Harry who all performed their speeches with confidence, maturity and flair.   

Thank you to everybody who donated to our mufti day across the alliance in aid of the appeal ‘Mad about Harry’.  Harry Banks is a ten-year-old boy with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma, a very rare and aggressive children’s cancer.  'Mad About Harry' was set up to raise funds for Harry in the event he would need a ground-breaking trial abroad. If the fund is not required, then monies raised will be donated to help other children suffering from this horrible condition.  

Before half term, I went over to Ampthill Park to watch the county cross-country event, with excellent performances by our pupils and qualifiers for the nationals.  Well done to all the participants - I was very proud to support you.  

I am also very proud of the U13 girls’ netball team who have qualified for the national finals of the ISA netball competition.  Well done to all the team for such hard work and commitment.  

On 5 February there was an Alliance tag rugby match, with girls and boys getting stuck in and having a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.  Well done to all those who took part.  Across the alliance, we always try to promote the performing arts and I was delighted to see the pupils at St Andrew’s enjoying participating in the lunchtime music concert held on 7 February.  Thank you to Mrs Shackleton for organising this event and thank you to all the wonderful singers.  It was lovely to see how well the pupils interacted during the concert, being supportive to each other and genuinely enjoying listening to the performances.  As a school inspector myself (I am currently away inspecting a school as I write this Blog) I know that all inspectors would have loved to witness the support the pupils gave to one another.   

At Rushmoor, the performing arts were on full display for the Rushmoor’s Got Talent extravaganza held on the evening of 7 February.  There were enthusiastic performances all round with the overall winner being Barney, Woody in second place and Elijah third place, but I think everybody who took part is a star!  Thank you to Mrs Gittins for her organisation, the staff who volunteered on the night and particularly Mr Halliday who hosted the evening.    

Whilst the summer GCSE examinations are looming ever nearer, our year 11 pupils are also considering their next steps.  The transition to our own Sixth Form is a sensible choice for many and it was nice to see the young ladies and gentlemen mixing together for a taster evening.  This was an opportunity for them to hear about the work expected in the sixth form and consider their option choices.   

To enhance their understanding of the English Legal System, our Law and Politics A level students visited the Old Bailey Crown Court, Supreme Court, and the Houses of Parliament in central London this week.  Thank you to Miss Ross and Mr Halliday for organising the trip.  

As part of their work learning about Earth and Space, pupils from Key Stage 1 from across the alliance joined together to go inside a planetarium, which was based at Rushmoor for the day.  They watched videos about the solar system and thoroughly enjoyed this learning experience.  

On 8 February, pupils from year 5 at Rushmoor ran an anti-bullying workshop for the younger junior pupils in years 1 to 4.  The year 5 pupils have been learning about the subject of bullying as part of their drama work.  The performances gave a clear message about how we should all behave and opened up some good discussions between the pupils watching and those performing. 

On 8 February the girls at St Andrew’s also presented their anti-bullying presentations to the younger pupils.  Through acting, the idea was to deliver important messages about how to treat each other with respect and the need to share any worries with a trusted adult.

Both junior schools have also introduced a new initiative called ‘The Worry Box’, which is another way for pupils to voice any concerns.  Each junior class has a box and children can write their worries on paper for the teacher to read at the end of the day.  

To support their learning in RE, where the children have been learning all about sacred places for all different religions, Key Stage 1 visited St Martin's Church to find out why the church is important to Christians.  The children had a tour around the church, made stain glass windows and had a quiz about all that they had learnt. I would like to thank Father Valmor and all at St Martin’s Church.  

After the successful topic of superheroes, children in EYFS have now chosen their new topic ‘Enchanted Creatures.’  Over the holidays the children went on a walk with their families to collect natural resources to create their own Enchanted Garden, I am very impressed with what they have produced! They were also asked to think about which mythical creature would live in their garden. The children enjoyed sharing their gardens in school and discussing the different parts of their garden.  

Along the theme of the children’s magical creatures, on Monday, EYFS children came into school to discover 3 magical doors.  This week they have been talking about what they think might be behind the doors. The children used playdough and a range of resources to create what they think might live there. The children in Reception have been writing letters to the enchanted creatures who may be living behind the doors.  

It was great to hear Mrs Kelly took her year 7 English class to visit Rogan's Bookshop in Bedford again this year.  They were shown a range of books of different genres, styles and abilities and enjoyed an entertaining chat about all things book related with Rachel, the owner of the shop.  The pupils were then let loose to browse the shelves and choose a book for themselves.  The aim is to encourage our pupils to read, which worked, as many were already reading on the mini-bus ride back to school!    

In the week before we broke up for half term, 30 students across the alliance took part in the UKMT Intermediate Maths Challenge.  This annual event organised by the University of Leeds involves students in years 9-11 facing 25 mathematical problems to solve in one hour.  It was great this year that a number of our girls faced this challenge.  We have just received the results and I am pleased to announce that overall we got 2 golds, 1 silver and 4 bronze, with two boys being put forward to the next round, the Pink Kangaroo.  One of the bronze awards was for a girl from St Andrews – well done!  It is now time for the year 7 and 8 students to start warming up, as they will face the UKMT Junior Maths Challenge when we come back after Easter.      

Eight boys from the school took part in the Young Mathematicians' Award before Christmas and both groups did really well to get through to the second round.  Unfortunately, they did not make the final, but today a representative from Explore Learning, who organise this event, came in to award our talented boys their certificates.  We are extremely proud of them.  

We are also starting to think about Pi Day, which will be celebrated on 14 March, and the boys were told today about the forthcoming events for the day, including the return of the Rushmoor Pi Bake-Off.  More information will be coming home soon, but please encourage your boys to get their creative hats on and plan their ideas.  

The English Department have been thoroughly impressed with the effort put in by all students who learnt and performed a Shakespearean monologue for the first stages of the ISA Shakespeare Monologue Competition.  Adam Corley, Isaac Bargroff, Harry Smith and James Bellingham were nominated as class winners in year 7 and will compete next week for a chance of winning a place in the Key Stage competition. They all gave terrific performances making use of eye contact, intonation and gestures. We look forward to hearing more recitals and seeing who progresses to the next stage.   

I have also been very impressed with the effort that all the year 5 children have put into learning their poems for the House Poetry Competition. To perform in front of your peers is hard, but despite their nerves the children all spoke clearly and confidently.  The three finalists have now been chosen and I am sure that all the children will support their chosen House representative. We look forward to the final!  

Sport News  

Active Girls on 6 February was all about problem solving and team work.  The girls were challenged to use pieces of guttering to transfer balls from one end of the hall to the other – no hands allowed. As a finale to the sessions of Active Girls, they had a very competitive game of dodgeball which was enjoyed by all.  

I mentioned earlier in the blog that the St Andrew’s girls played in the ISA Netball Tournament, and this is the match report written by Jelena Ilic: “It was a cold and early start to an exciting day and we couldn't wait to start playing. We played King Alfred first and won 3-1. Our next game was against Normanhurst and we won that 4-0. Next we played Mount House and we had to work a lot harder here, but our hard work paid off, winning 2-1. Then we played Trevor Roberts and were super excited as this was the game that could send us into the semi-finals! This drove our determination and we upped our game, winning 4-2. We were in the semi-finals - amazing! We played Northbridge and we knew it would be a tough match. It was neck and neck all the way through, and coming up to the end of the match, the score was 2-2! Just as the final whistle blew, they scored another goal to win 3-2. We were all disappointed but knew that we could still qualify for the National Finals if we won our next game, the 3rd/4th place play-off. We were playing against King Alfred again so we were confident we could beat them. We held our nerve and won the game 6-1 meaning we were through to the Nationals - a first for St Andrew's! We were all so proud and excited and this was an experience we will never forget!!”  

On 19 February year 7 and 8 girls played in their first match of the Hockey tournament.  The St Andrew’s girls played brilliantly, with great teamwork in their first three matches.  Their first game was against Biddenham, which improved their enthusiasm, determination and motivation and resulted in a 3-0 win.  The next two games were against Castle Newnham and Goldington, both very tough, close matches resulting in 0-0 scores.  Once again, the girls received great support from parents on the sidelines.  Next week, St Andrew’s will be playing Sharnbrook and Lincroft, and the girls will be concentrating on their goal scoring in their training sessions this week.   

On 20 February, in the opening fixture of the year 7 & 8 netball league, St Andrew’s hosted Biddenham. Both teams got off to a great start, and at half time were winning! Year 8s went on to win their match 16-4 - a fantastic start to the season.  

Year 7 had a tougher second half and just missed out on the win in the end - but with 2 players missing, they showed great determination in their performance. Players of the match were Olivia Patel for year 7 and Chino Oriaku for year 8. The teams look forward to taking on BGS next week! Well done to all who played.

The competition is on – and who says fitness can’t be fun!!  During Miss Pearce’s lunchtime session for Senior and Junior pupils, the girls have been practising the multi-stage fitness test (bleep test). Well done to Kasey Darnton who reached level 11 and was the inspiration for Mr Jones to also give it a try – he reached over level 10 – a tougher challenge as he did it alone.  On Wednesday the girls rose to the challenge and were determined to beat his score – year 4/5 girls Sophie Weston, Flossy Stott and Mimi Gardner achieved a whopping 11.5.  Well done to all.  I am sure the competition is not over yet!  

Rushmoor has been busy with a number of fixtures.  The week began with year 3 A & B football at Bedford School. Both our teams played some good football and were extremely proud to represent the school. Special mentions go to Woody Brown and Tanishk Barve who were both superb in goal.  

Year 5s got back to winning ways with a very impressive performance against Bedford Modern B. After a very fast start, the boys played some of their best football, scoring some great goals and showing great resilience in defence. Man of the match: Louis Hyde  

The year 6B team had their first fixture of the season against Bedford this week. The team were very excited about the opportunity to play and demonstrated excellent effort and endeavour throughout. Bedford took an early lead through some superb strikes, we had our chances but were unlucky not to score. The boys regrouped in the second half and a fantastic late strike from Heath Clarke capped off a winning second half and a very enjoyable game.  

I was very pleased to see our first squash match on the fixture list, thank you to Mr Hawken for organising it.  The fixture was against BMS hosted by Towers Health Club.  The students practice every Friday and this was a great opportunity to play some competitive games against opponents of similar experience. All the students played four matches each in what was a very enjoyable evening for both schools. We will be looking to return the fixture and host in the very near future.     

Mr Hawken, Director of Sport, has awarded an ISA athlete of the month.  This month’s nominee from Rushmoor is Jack Norman.  Jack is an accomplished footballer who also represents the school across the full range of activities we cover.  Jack currently plays for MK Dons outside of school and as a result of his hard work and performances was rewarded with a two and a half year academy contract from the club. The PE department would like to congratulate Jack on these achievements and we look forward to supporting him in the future.    

Principal’s Award:

To Anais Harvey in year 10 who independently put together an excellent piece of Geography homework.  

Harry Mayrick and Ben Handscombe for their famous historical people projects. 

Junior School Stars of the week:

St Andrew’s School w/c 4 February 2019

Reception – Emily Perry

Year 1 – Fox choy

Year 2 – Arthur Mullaney

Year 3/4 – Flossy Stott

Year 5 – Kimora Darragh

Year 6 – Isabelle Burt  

Rushmoor School w/c 18 February 2019

Reception – Rahaf Adam

1TS – Nyah Wooding

2KGL – Stephen Muniu

3JM –Errol Bogacki

3ST – Sebastian Raddan

4EB – The whole class

4ET – Isabelle Child

5CR – All of Year 5 for

5RS – learning their poems

St Andrew’s School w/c 18 February 2019     

Reception – Oliver Barber

Year 1 – Khushi Masih

Year 2 – Tiggy Willcocks

Year 3/4 – Charlotte Allen

Year 5 – Amelie Walsh

Year 6 – Stephanie Smith  

Personal Pursuits:  

I am pleased to hear that Heath Clarke has been selected to play cricket for Bedfordshire Under 11’s for the coming season.  He will continue to play for Bedford C.C. where he won the 2018 bowling award for his age group at the end of last season.  Well done Heath, I look forward to seeing you represent the school in cricket next term.  

I would like to wish Ewan John and Curtis Fisher lots of luck in their up and coming event at the Junior Sculling Head.  On 18 March they will be travelling to Dorney, an Olympic venue, to compete in a J16 quad.  Ewan also has the opportunity to be entered into the J15 single scull and a J16 double.  I look forward to hearing how the boys have done.  

Jack Deakin continues to rise in the world ranking competing recently in Valencia. It was the Winter Cup, contested by the world’s best drivers (there were 90 in his class). Jack was quickly on the pace and qualified 29th, although he was only 0.1 second from a top 10 place highlighting how close the racing is. In the heats he was lapping on par with the current World Champion, Joe Turney, also from Bedfordshire. We look forward to watching Jack’s driving career continuing on its current trajectory!  

St Andrew’s held their KS4 Options Evening on Thursday which was an opportunity for year 9 pupils and their parents to be fully involved in the process of selecting GCSE option subjects.  Mr Jones made a presentation, briefly explaining what is involved, and parents and pupils were then free to speak with the subject teachers of their choice. All found this an invaluable and informative experience.  

I am looking forward to the upcoming Open Morning on Saturday 2 March 2019.  Our pupils are our very best advertisement so their help on the morning is invaluable and I would like to thank them for giving up their time to assist.  Open Morning is not just for prospective families, it is an opportunity for current parents and their extended families to look around the schools should you so wish.  We look forward to seeing you.    

A reminder that following last summer's success, 'Touch Typing for Kids' will be returning to deliver a touch typing course during the first week of the Easter holidays. The course will be held in the Senior School at St Andrew's and is open to both Junior and Senior school pupils across the alliance. Details of how to apply, costs and times were sent out with the previous Blog and also by separate email this week. Please do not hesitate to contact the company directly should you have any specific questions.   

As I mentioned briefly earlier, I am away for a couple of days this week inspecting another school for the Independent Schools Inspectorate on behalf of Ofsted.  I always find it very helpful to visit other schools in this role as it enables me to consider best practises; what I feel we do well compared to them and vice versa.  I usually come back with ideas, as I believe that education is always evolving and we can never be complacent if we hope to provide the best learning experience to our pupils.  

Kind regards

I M Daniel, BA (QTS), NPQH

Principal

Principal's Blog - Friday 1st February

History was brought to life for the year 6 girls at St Andrew’s last week.  They had a visit from Mrs Dot Bassett, who was an evacuee during the war. As you can imagine, the girls had lots of questions to ask Mrs Bassett and this visit really does reinforce what they have been learning during history lessons on World War Two.  Thank you to Mrs Bassett for sharing her story. We have many different types of extra-curricular clubs running across the Alliance in order to try to appeal to all our pupils’ interests.   

I was delighted to cover Mr Fryer’s table-top games club last week, as it was really pleasing to see the children enjoying good-old-fashioned board games – a nice change from the digital world they live in!  

Year 11 pupils from Rushmoor had the opportunity to visit The Globe theatre in London to watch a performance of Macbeth.  A play all about the consequences arising from people’s thirst for power when evil captures their imagination!  I am sure the performance helped to bring the story to life and will help to embed their classroom studies.  

Can I please remind parents to switch off your car engines when dropping off and collecting children at school.  Please do not sit with your engine running, which causes air pollution.  Our children deserve to breath clean air, and we should respect the local community.  This will be monitored.  

I would like to thank Biddenham International School for hosting a fascinating talk on 'Democracy' by Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Arts and former head of policy for Number 10 under Tony Blair. Two of our A level politics students attended with their teacher, Mr Halliday, meeting other students from the region and sharing their views on deliberative democracy, the current Brexit situation and electoral reform with Mr Taylor himself.  I have been told it was a truly inspirational afternoon and a great way to broaden knowledge and appreciation of the current state of British democracy.  

Our year 7 Rushmoor pupils were learning how to plot physical geographies onto their own maps this week. We have some fantastic examples of the different physical features that can be found within Africa.    

Junior School News:  

The year 3 and 4 girls at St Andrew’s have been learning about Teeth and Health Eating, and have used disclosing tablets to identify areas of their mouth which they have missed with their toothbrushes.  

On Tuesday, during the Junior School assembly, St John Ambulance visited Rushmoor School to deliver a talk all about safety and basic first aid.  Steve and Steve spoke about what to do in case of an emergency and what special number to ring.  All the children were also shown how to apply a bandage, they then used what they had learnt to try apply a bandage on each other.  A big thank you to St John Ambulance for taking the time to come in and deliver this fantastic assembly, and also showing the pupils around the Ambulance.  It was great to see as I have recently passed my first aid refresher course.  

Rushmoor’s Got Talent  

Rushmoor’s Got Talent will be held on Thursday 7 February at 7.30pm in Randall Hall.  Auditions have been taking place and on Wednesday 23 January it was the turn of Rushmoor Junior pupils to audition. The standard of acts was exceptional. They included a DJ, guitarist, break dancer, ventriloquist, 2 comedians, a tongue twister expert and a girl band.  Everyone that entered did very well and should be very proud of themselves.  It is great to hear that the entrants have inspired other children to take part next year.

EYFS News:  

At St Andrew’s Nursery, the Owls class and youngest babies have been exploring the elements by looking at the world around them.  Nursery staff said the older children demonstrated excellent behaviour and were happy to investigate alongside the babies, which enhanced the sensory experience for the youngest ones.  The children were fascinated by icy puddles, frosty patterns on the leaves, and also talked about why some areas had thawed out, but not others.  Their adventure was completed by the nursery tradition of climbing trees and exploring the woods.  Thank you to the nursery staff for all they do to make the days such fun for the children.        

Sports News:  

On 24 January a collection of year 6 to 8 students from Rushmoor took part in this year’s Priory Park X-Country.  All the students ran well in muddy conditions with Ben Bramwell, Jack Norman and Charlie Maudlin excelling for each of the age groups.  I would like to thank all the students who ran, but particularly Jack Christy, Abbass Hussain, James Bellingham and David Solomon for their commitment and effort for the team over the last two weeks.  

From St Andrew’s a few of the year 4 girls had an opportunity to compete in the race alongside older girls and for some it was their first race.  All those who competed should be very proud of themselves as there were some much improved performances on the previous race.  I would like to give a special mention to Kasey Darnton, Ruby Ryall and Amelia Perry for their high finishing places.    

The Active Girls initiative run by the Local Authority is a wonderful scheme that has certainly captured our year 8 girls’ imagination.  Last week they got the chance to take part in a street dance workshop, learning and performing a routine – a great way to keep fit and active!  On 23 January the girls took part in a Rounders session. This was indoors at the Athletic Stadium and the girls thoroughly enjoyed themselves as well as getting a good workout. 

This week the Active Girls session was Parkour which was great fun and the girls all enjoyed trying something new. They all gave it their best shot and made excellent progress in just an hour.  A special mention to Amy Pattinson who did so well she was given more advanced skills to try. Well done everyone!  

On Wednesday 30 January Miss Pearce took a group of St Andrew’s girls to take part in the North Beds Schools’ cross country competition held at Sharnbrook Academy.  The course ran around the school field plus an adjoining farmer’s field.  It was a cold day and the ground was boggy.  The first 16 runners to finish qualified for the County round to be held at Ampthill Park.  All our girls performed exceptionally well with measurable improvements on their previous runs.  I would like to give a special mention to Kasey Darnton and Ruby Ryall for their excellent performances.     

Year 10 girls at St Andrew’s have been keenly practising tag rugby for their alliance mixed rugby game next week.  As you know, I’m a big rugby fan and it pleases me to see that the girls are also enthusiastic to play the game.    

This week, Mr Hawken took a very keen set of year 10 and 11 students to play Basketball at King's Ely.  His lunchtime Basketball club has proved popular and to reward the students this fixture was arranged.  The game was an end to end affair with both teams taking time to settle.  Our year 10s got into their stride first and opened up a healthy lead in the second period of a six period game.  Both teams showed moments of brilliance with our boys able to hold on for a deserved win.  Pictured are the team including Temi who was voted player of the day, well done boys.  

It has been a busy fortnight with many Rushmoor pupils playing their first fixtures of the football season. Year 8 started their football season with two tough encounters against Kings Ely and Bedford Academy.  During both games, we showed some real promise going forward and looked to play exciting football.  

Year 5s played their first football fixture against a very strong Pitsford team.  The game was played under floodlights on artificial surface, which was a great experience for all. MoM: Rio Noto.  The U9s performed very well in their first game of the season winning 5-0. The boys played some impressive and composed football.  MoM: Majus Hodges.  The U8s also had their first game this term against Broughton Manor.  It was great to see how excited they all were, as for most, it was the first time they had played a competitive football match for the school.  The As drew 4-4 with Yazan scoring a fantastic hat-trick and the Bs winning 1-0 with Jae scoring late on showing good composure.    

Our Alliance swimming squad is at the top of the ladder, having to add an extra session to be able to fit more swimmers from across the alliance. The squad swimming session for St Andrew’s girls is now on Mondays, 4.00-5.00pm at Trinity Pool, and I am delighted to hear that nearly all of those invited have taken up the opportunity. I am happy to see the amount of effort our students are putting into this squad and the great achievement they are getting from it.  I am looking forward to seeing many successful performances and personal challenges from our students.   Well done to all who played in fixtures over the last two weeks, it makes me proud when I get positive feedback from the PE staff and competing schools about how well behaved our boys and girls are.  

Where are they now . . . ?

Ever wondered what happens to our pupils after they have left us?  We like to hear from former pupils to see what they are doing now.  Alex Essex, talented artist from class of 2018, has been in touch.  After leaving us he joined the Art Foundation course at Cambridge Regional College where he has gone from strength to strength, building up his specialism subject in animation.  Alex is currently amid interview season for BA(hons) Degree Courses and is anxiously waiting for dates where he can show his work and hopefully gain a place.  Alex is hoping to study animation and a selection of his work can be viewed here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EZGZpRj8yw&feature=youtube I would like to take this opportunity to wish Alex good luck and look forward to hearing how he gets on.     

Principal’s Award:

Tanishk Barve for his piece of work on Brexit.  You will be able to read this on our facebook page.  

Ava Georgiou for her written descriptive work.  

George Steed for his English work on aliens.  

To Flossy Stott and Deborah Nyamtowo in year 4 for challenging themselves in Maths.  

To Amy Parrish in year 5 for a fantastic piece of descriptive writing based on Theseus and the Minotaur.    

Personal Pursuits:  

Congratulations to Jack Norman, in year 7, who has this week signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with MK Dons academy.  Jack is a hugely talented all round sportsman who represents the school across the full range of activities we offer.  It is great to see his hard work pay off and I look forward to supporting him over the coming years.      

Congratulations to Amelia Perry in year 5 who came 4th in the Eastern Counties Gymnastics Regional Championship held on 19 January.      

I would like to congratulate Ella Stone who had a very successful weekend in the Bedfordshire County Swimming Championships.  Ella won the girls 13 200m individual medley (butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and front crawl). This placed her 2nd in the Junior Championships.  Well done Ella.        

You may remember from previous blogs where I have spoken about Heath Clarke and his charity work for the Langer project.  The Langer project is a charity based in Bedford that cooks authentic Punjabi curries for the homeless, families, individuals and anyone in need.  I am happy to say that Heath, with his grandad, raised nearly £400 for the Langer project through a Christmas hamper draw at The Bedford i-lab.  Well done Heath, we are very proud of you.                  

Junior School Stars of the week:  

Rushmoor School w/c  21 January 2019 

Reception – Madinah Shafi

1TS – Tom Marshall

2KGL – Sebastian Rooke

3JM – Farell Kotecha

3ST – Danushka Gunasekara

4EB – Archie Fisher

4ET – Tom Ulvert

5CR – Alessio Sepede

5RS – Ollie Instrell  

St Andrew’s School w/c 21 January 2019

Reception – Scarlett Rook

Year 1 – Matilda D’Cruze

Year 2 – Clara Hendry

Year 3/4 – Lucia Treleven

Year 5 – Amelia Perry

Year 6 – Freya Svendsen    

Rushmoor School w/c 28 January 2019

Reception – The whole class

1TS – Charlie Benson

2KGL – India Ward

3JM – Bay Chater

3ST – Harry Clayton

4EB – Jacob Adedeji

4ET – Oscar Wood

5CR – Kian Woolven and Rio Noto

5RS – Rhys Brown      

St Andrew’s School w/c 28 January 2019     

Reception – Liliana Sepede

Year 1 – Spike Haskins-Yapp

Year 2 – Isabella Diffey

Year 3/4 – Perpetual Nyamtowo

Year 5 – Matilda Aston

Year 6 – Saikeisha Comatchee

Consultations and Examinations: 

It was nice to meet with parents at the recent year 8 consultation evenings at St Andrew’s and Rushmoor; it was pleasing to hear such positive feedback about both schools and the good progress they feel their children are making.  

The past two weeks have seen the conclusion of the GCSE mock examinations at Rushmoor and these will now be followed by parental consultations to allow the results to be discussed.   

Following their mocks, A-level students in year 13 had their consultation evening on Tuesday 29 January, and I hope the students are now fully aware of what they need to do in preparation for their formal examinations in the summer months.  

Hard work, determination and regular revision throughout the next five months is so important for GCSE and A-level students at this stage.  Another reminder, all pupils across Rushmoor and St Andrew’s taking GCSE and A-level examinations this summer should plan to make use of the revision booster sessions that each subject teacher will provide in the run-up to the formal examinations commencing in May.      

Calling all snowboarders!   

For the first time we are including snowboarding lessons with our annual trip to Les Menuires.  If your child prefers to use a snowboard rather than skis, then they might wish to come along with their friends in December.  Please contact the school office for further details.  

I hope you saw the pictures posted to our Facebook pages about the new minibus which the PTFA have contributed to the Alliance.  I would like to thank the PTFA for all their hard work and all they do for the schools.    

Tonight St Andrew’s School are hosting the PTFA Quiz Night, which always proves to be a fun evening, and competitive!  I look forward to seeing you there if you are attending.       

In addition to Facebook and Twitter, we also have an Instagram account, so please check all these for photographs and news: rushmoor_standrews  

Kind regards

I M Daniel, BA (QTS),NPQH

Principal

Principal's Blog - Friday 18th January 2019

It was nice to see all the pupils back at school on Tuesday 8 January, fully refreshed from their 3-week break.  Things got off to a flying start with some of our sixth formers coming back to face their first formal examinations.  Those studying the new CamTec Business Studies course (which is the equivalent of 3 A-levels) sat their first paper on Wednesday 9th and another paper on Friday 11th.  Both the Alliance A-level students and the GCSE students at Rushmoor have been completing their mock examinations, which form a valuable tool to focus their minds for the real things that are rapidly approaching.  

Parents of the year 11 girls at St Andrew’s were invited to a consultation evening to discuss the results of the mocks the girls took before Christmas.  Parent consultation evenings have also taken place for the year 7 students across the Alliance.  Parents are reminded that we operate an open door policy and are always available to offer advice if required.  

Lastly, on the subject of GCSEs and A-levels, revision booster sessions will be running across both schools at various times over the run-up to the summer examinations.  These will include early morning and after-school sessions, together with dates in the Easter holiday period.  Booster sessions have proved exceptionally helpful to students in previous years who have attended them, so please encourage your child to do so.  

Mrs Djukic, Head of Juniors across the Alliance, and myself met with the parents of Rushmoor girls currently in year 5 to discuss their transition to St Andrew’s in the next academic year.  Of course, the girls already mix with their friends at St Andrew’s on many occasions, such as curriculum games lessons and enrichment opportunities; however, we wanted to discuss the move with parents to ensure it is as smooth as possible.  We hope that the Local Authority will shortly approve the planning for our new site, so that all our pupils across the Alliance are united as quickly as possible.  

This term we are teaming up with MIND to promote the benefits of being physically active to support our mental wellbeing.   

We all know that being physically active is good for our bodies and our physical health and mental health are linked.  As I have said on many occasions, I am passionate about sport and fitness, and believe that finding something you enjoy doing is good for your self-esteem.  Many adults do not get enough exercise to stay healthy, so we should try to instil this advice in the younger generation so that it will be an integral part of their lives in childhood and throughout adulthood.  Over the next two terms and beyond, we will be exploring the message from MIND about the benefits physical activity can bring to our whole wellbeing.

I hope that you saw the photographs posted on our FaceBook pages from the ski trip to Les Menuires in December.  It was a great trip and I would like to thank all the pupils and their family members who attended.  As always, huge thanks to Madame Thiebeaux who organised the trip superbly.  Also thanks to Mr Adam Jones and Mr Tom Short who accompanied us.   

You may have also seen on our FaceBook page that a number of students from our photography club received recognition at the Bedford Christmas Tree Festival Photography Competition.  Excellent efforts by Zachariah Levens (who won), Brandon Lay and Ismail Alom.  Thank you to Mick Child from Forge Photography for guiding the Club members so well.  

Drama:    

Students from years 5 and 6 across the Alliance have welcomed the storytelling company ‘Gripping Yarns’ to perform ‘Outside the Circle’, which tells a story about bullying.  The story gives children an empathetic understanding of how it feels to be called names, teased, isolated, or bullied.  This forms part of our PSHE syllabus.   

We were very lucky last term in Drama to have Rare Productions come to school and take workshops with years 5, 8 and some year 6 boys.  The students were full of energy and learned a song and dance routine. It was great fun and all involved were a credit to the school.    

Rare Productions will be doing auditions this month for High School Musical, please ask Mrs Gittins for more details or see their website https://www.rareproductions.co.uk/  

Year 10 Rushmoor pupils have been creating a piece of theatre based on the poem 'Mid term Break' this week for their assessment.  They have collaborated very well together as a group and created an emotive piece of theatre.  Well done Harvey, Tommy, Jacob, Oscar, Owain, George and Jake.  

Don't forget auditions for Rushmoor's Got Talent are being held next week.  Years 6 & 7 are on Thursday 24 January lunchtime and years 8, 9, 10 & 11 will be on Friday 25 January lunchtime.  Please sign up with Mrs Gittins.  

Maths:

Just before Christmas we heard that, unfortunately, our two teams in the National Young Mathematicians' Award had been unsuccessful in getting through to the next round.  In fact, none of the Bedford schools that entered got through, but that does not stop us from wanting to have another go next year.  We are really proud of how our boys did and I hope that they enjoyed the whole experience.  The team from Explore Learning will be bringing in and presenting their certificates shortly.    

In the meantime, our focus is now on the UKMT Maths challenges.  The Intermediate challenge will be taking place on Thursday 7 February and is for years 9-11 and then the Junior challenge for years 7-8 will be after Easter.    This year will be involving both Rushmoor and St Andrews pupils and we wish them success in these challenges.  Both maths departments will also be celebrating pi day on 14 March, so we have a busy time ahead.  We will let you know of planned events shortly.  

Junior School:

KS1 were very lucky to have a visit from Kempston Green Watch Fire service this week. The firemen came into the classroom and talked about fire safety, they even showed the uniform they wear to protect them in a fire.  Elle then had a race against Callum, the firefighter, to see who could get into the uniform the quickest and Elle won! The children then went outside to the fire engine and got to use the hose and spray water all over the school!

Literacy:

We were pleased to welcome Sarah Mockford to Rushmoor.  Sarah is the Editor of the ‘Rugby World’ publication and she came to speak to pupils from years 5 and 9 all about the competitive professional rugby world.   After reading 'Stone Cold' by Robert Swindells, Mrs Kelly's year 9 class, at Rushmoor School, decided that they would like to support a local homeless charity. The story of 'Stone Cold' follows the plight of a young homeless boy and raises many concerns surrounding the issue. A huge thank you to the year 9 class and to parents who supported and so kindly donated. The boxes of toiletries and food will be delivered to The Prebend Day Centre at the end of the week.   

Touch Typing Course:

Following last summer's success, 'Touch Typing for Kids' will be returning to deliver a touch typing course during the first week of the Easter holidays, 1-5 April. The course will be held in the Senior School at St Andrew's and is open to both Junior and Senior school pupils across the Alliance. Details of how to apply, costs and times are attached. Please do not hesitate to contact the company directly should you have any specific questions.   

Music News:

Congratulations must go to all students who contributed to the musical items in the St Andrew’s Carol Service at the end of term. The Candlelight Canon was a highlight of the evening and special thanks to the year 10 a cappella group who performed in public for the first time, singing in 3 part harmony. Zeynep Salerno and Elizabeth Hazel both sang solo verses and further praise must go to Zeynep who achieved a very high merit in her Grade 6 Trinity singing exam taken at the end of term.  

The St Andrew’s school choir meets on a Monday lunchtime from 1.15-1.45 and all students are welcome. This term we will be singing some musical theatre works and popular songs.  

Girls from Years 7-11 are invited to perform at a lunchtime concert on Thursday 7 February. There will be a sign up sheet on the notice board outside the hall or students can sign up with myself during lessons.  

We are delighted to offer both year 7 and 8 students the opportunity to participate in the ISA singing festival at the Union Chapel in London on Friday 22 March. This proved to be a very successful day last year and it is being led again by jazz composer and conductor Scott Stroman, assisted by a live band. The event this year will involve singing some original music based on Shakespeare poems alongside more popular classical works.  

A reminder to all students in years 7-9 that there is a music club after school on Mondays from 3.50-5.00pm. All are welcome regardless of whether they play an instrument.  The numbers of students learning an instrument or having vocal lessons is continuing to increase and I look forward to hearing the results of their efforts in both the lunchtime concert and the summer concert later in year.  

Mrs Shackleton would like to thank for your continued support of music at St Andrew’s. A huge thank you to the Rushmoor choir for their sterling efforts at the end of last term.  We had a successful performance at the Christmas Tree Festival in Bedford, followed by an excellent performance at our Carol Service at the end of term.  If you wondered why we all looked stunning in our choir robes it was because we had spent some of the previous day helping the church record a video to celebrate their 150th birthday.  We were videoed and photographed while wearing the choir robes which the church had kindly provided for the day and thought that we may as well make use of them in our carol service!  

The Rushmoor Choir pupils will be joining St. Andrew's girls on 22nd March for a singing day in London.  If your child is in the Rushmoor choir please make sure they return their letter slip to Mr Day or the school office as soon as possible.  

Art:

Rushmoor Artist of the Month Award is a new and exciting opportunity for the Rushmoor School community to recognise outstanding achievements being made by our pupils in art. Our pupils produce stunning artwork throughout their years here and we would like to share their stories and achievements with you.  

Alexandra, in year 12, is our nomination for January due to her willingness to express herself more freely through a more relaxed painting style.  Her approach generated a series of exceptional watercolour paintings which convey energy and vitality. ‘Confined’ is a response to the theme freedom and limitations and Alexandra developed the imagery initially through photography.  She used her photographs to paint from and to help her achieve a believable art piece which would demand curiosity from viewers.  

Sport News:

Girls from year 5 to year 8 at St Andrew’s competed at the Lincroft cross-country competition on 16 January.  This was the first cross-country event of 2019 and some girls found it hard-going but despite this they all put in a great effort and competed well.  This was a good experience for all competitors but especially those who had never raced before, particularly with such a high number of schools and runners taking part.   The races highlighted the girls’ fitness levels and their determination to succeed.  A special congratulations to Demi Sunda for coming 12th in her age group. Thank you to the parents who supported despite the downpour.  

Active Girls – year 8 enjoyed a fabulous session on Wednesday, performing Street Dance.  They learned a routine and performed it brilliantly, with Mia volunteering to go solo!  The girls can’t wait to see what next week brings.    

Once again the term has had a busy start for the PE department at Rushmoor with a number of fixtures already being played.  The year 7/8 hockey league has begun with both our 'A' and 'B' squads securing good wins this week.  We also took a team to this week’s Bedfordia x-country event held at Lincroft School. This is a huge event with hundreds of students running across the age groups.  The star performers were Ben Bramwell who finished an impressive 6th in the year 5/6 event, Jack Norman and Charlie Maudlin were top finishers in the year 7/8 race both finishing just outside the top 10.  Well done to all the runners who participated on what was a very cold and wet day. The year 8 football squad have already played two fixtures in preparation for next half terms local league fixtures.  

ISA U11 National 5-a-side: This week we took a strong side to Mill Hill for the U11 National 5-a-side competition.  After losing the first game to an impressive King Alfred team they went on a six game unbeaten run scoring 22 goals and only conceding 4 in the process.  This secured our place in the quarter finals where we came up against a very talented Normanhurst team. The 2-0 loss was tough on the boys who can be rightly proud of their amazing efforts over the day.  Squad: Noah Broomfield, Ben Bramwell, Ryan Kirkham, Freddie Wells, James Wookey and Maddison Agama-Spencer.  

EYFS News:  

At St Andrew’s Nursery the babies have been exploring and engaging with some different types of treasure baskets, one of the favourites being their vegetable basket!  After exploring how each vegetable feels and with practitioners focusing on key words to extend the learning, the babies then enjoyed sampling some of the vegetables at snack time, followed by exploring how vegetables could travel by rolling them down ramps.  A very busy and healthy time was had by all.  

The relationship with our residents at Charter house has taken another step forward as Nursery welcomed some of the residents for a stay and play session in Owls class.  The staff were immensely proud of the way in which the children welcomed Basil and Margaret into their room and were keen to get the residents involved in storytelling, colouring and role play. These sessions will take place weekly to enable the friendships between the two settings to flourish.     

Following the children’s interests this half term EYFS at Rushmoor have chosen the topic ‘Superheroes in Training’. This week their learning has been based around the story ‘Supertato’. On Tuesday the children came into school to discover that a crime had been committed in the night. The children investigated the crime scene and used the clues to find out what had happened. They discovered that Supertato had been trapped by the Evil Pea. Evil Pea left a letter for the children, explaining that they must create their own Super Veggie to rescue Supertato. The children used vegetables of their choice and a range of resources to make their Superhero Vegetable. They gave their Super Veggie a name and a power. The children in Reception have been writing words and sentences to describe their Super Veggie.  

On Wednesday the children came into school to discover that Supertato had been rescued by the Super Veggies! The children found a note from the Police, thanking them for solving the crime. The children were awarded certificates for their help. But the Evil Pea was still missing! The children decided to make posters during their play to ask if anyone had seen Evil Pea. The children put the posters up around the school. On Thursday the children were asked to help the peas find Evil Pea. The children created a Veggie Villain to find Evil Pea. On Friday with the help of the Veggie Villains, Evil Pea was found! The children in Rushmoor Robins have had a very exciting week. They enjoyed creating their own story characters and bringing them to life.  

Personal Pursuits:

We are very proud to report that a year 6 pupil at St Andrew’s, Grace Langridge, has been nominated for the ISA monthly ‘Sports Person of the Month’ for her prowess in ice skating.  Good luck Grace!!  

I would like to congratulate Matthew Parton for receiving his Black Belt in Karate.  It is an incredible journey he has been through to get this belt.  Matthew has worked his way through 14 gradings before receiving his Black Belt at the age of 10.  The final year before undertaking his Black Belt grading was particularly hard as Matthew trained 5 times a week at the Dojo, embarking on additional fitness training for core strength and had to run 2.2 miles every week.  Each Karateka had to write a 2000 word essay on the history of Karate. The Black Belt grading itself was a gruelling 7 hour event, where each Karateka had to complete a 2.2 mile run on cross country terrain, do all the basics that have been acquired during the past 14 belts, perform all the Kata’s and at the end fight other Karateka in a sparring contest. The Black Belt grading is designed to test the individual’s physical and mental strength as well as endurance and stamina.  Well done Matthew!    

Junior School Stars of the week:

St Andrew’s School w/c 7 January 2019

Reception – William Woodrow

Year 1 – Sophie Retout

Year 2 – Mia Riley

Year 3/4 – Tilly Norman

Year 5 – Lydia Shortland

Year 6 – Imogen Taylor    

Rushmoor School w/c 14 January 2019

Reception – Eliza Burchell

1TS –Nyah Wooding

2KGL –Sam Burchell

3JM – Ophelia Manser

3ST – Billy Bell

4EB – Alex Thompson

4ET – Ben Handscombe

5CR – Alessio Sepede

5RS – James Gallo  

St Andrew’s School w/c 14 January 2019     

Reception – Isla Gleeson

Year 1 – Fox Choy

Year 2 – Grace Perry

Year 3/4 – Bronwyn Phillips

Year 5 – Charlotte Pettitt

Year 6 – Lillie King      

Principal’s Award:

Zeynep Salerno in year 11 for achieving a High Merit in her Grade 6 Trinity Singing exam.  

Ruby Ryall in year 8 for her determination in cross-country despite feeling unwell.  

Floriana Sansevero and Ada Padbury in year 7 for their excellent, funny story in English.  

Ethan Ndokera for his holiday homework.  

William North for his geography project.  

Matthew Eaden for his artwork he painted in the holidays.  

Kind regards

I M Daniel, BA (QTS), NPQH

Principal

Principal's Blog - Friday 7th December

On 26 November year 6 girls from St Andrew’s and year 3 pupils from Rushmoor teamed up for a trip to Stibbington Education Centre in Cambridgeshire.  This trip supports their studies on World War 2 and what it was like to be evacuated.

Our pupils had to pretend to be a child who was actually evacuated to Stibbington, with the names taken from a list in the museum’s archives.   Thank you to parents for providing the pupils with suitable clothes so they could look the part.  Carrying their own gas mask box, and eating a typical 1940’s lunch certainly helps to bring to life what the children experienced during the war; hopefully it also helps our pupils to understand just how lucky we all are today.  

We were pleased to welcome representatives from the National Citizenship Service to an assembly for pupils in years 11 and 12.  They explained all about the NCS programme, which designed to provide young people with new experiences.  The 3-week summer course involves a residential where you will take part in outdoor pursuits, followed by a residential at a local university, where you experience what it’s like to fend for yourself away from home.  Everything from a limited budget, cooking, cleaning and taking part in activities such as first-aid training.  The final week focuses on raising money for charity.  There is also an autumn course, which has a shorter timescale.  Over the years, a number of our pupils have taken part in NCS and have enjoyed it.  It looks good on your UCAS personal statement and your CV, so I hope that some of the pupils will attend in summer 2019.  

On 3 December some of the year 10 girls took part in the first heat of the ‘Youth Speaks’ public speaking competition, which is organised by the Rotary Club. There were two teams representing St Andrew’s School, each consisting of three competitors; Caroline Demuth, Sana Abidi and Tabitha Crocker spoke about body image and Shelby Gwiza, Evie Maddison and Imogen Curryer spoke about creativity in the curriculum. I am proud to say that both teams performed to a very high standard, in front of a large audience, showing excellent speaking skills and evidence of having worked collaboratively in planning their speeches. However, Caroline, Sana and Tabitha really impressed the judges with their presentation, winning them a place in the district competition that will take place in the New Year.  Congratulations to all who took part and to Mrs Lowe for taking them.  

Two teams from Rushmoor also entered the Rotary Club’s speaking competition 'Youth Speaks'.  It is a well-established competition designed to encourage effective communication skills. Both teams performed exceptionally well: speaking clearly on a public platform about American gun laws and gene-editing respectively. The Year 10 team, Navraj Wahraich, Oscar Smith and Harry Watling succeeded in gaining a place at the regional heat with Navraj also winning the joint title of the night's 'best speaker'. The Year 9 team consisted of Oliver Frame, Ben Wookey and Thomas Kilroy; they were also highly commended for their performance. This was a fantastic event and we look forward to encouraging more public speaking at Rushmoor.   

The girls in year 11 at St Andrews have been taking their GCSE mock exams and have demonstrated great maturity and diligence in the preparation for these.  

During this week pupils in the choirs from both Rushmoor and St Andrew’s have performed at the Christmas Tree Festival held at St Paul’s Church.  Thank you to Mr Day and Mrs Shackleton for ensuring the choirs were fully prepared for their performances.  Well done to all the children involved.   

Each school provided decorations for a tree at the Festival and I would like to thank Mrs Bushell, Mrs Hope and Mrs Robinson for going along to sort out our decorations.  A special mention to Sam Homer, Sixth Form student who designed and made the decorations for the Rushmoor tree; the theme was ‘Around the World’.  Thank you to parents and grandparents who visited this event to support our choirs and the represented charities. This year the alliance photography club had the opportunity to enter the competition to photograph the event. Fingers crossed for the outcome. Please remember that there are places available for boys and girls to take part in the photography club.  

Last weekend our CCF students were out on their first weekend field trip of the year.  Year 10 were in a 24 hour manoeuvre doing lots of different drills and camping outdoors, while our new cadets from year 9 were taught the basic skills and knowledge they will need this year within their section Army, RAF or Navy.  

They all had lots of fun, a very busy agenda each day and, which is more important, they made good friends within the CCF family.      

In their recent science lessons years 3 and 4 at St Andrew’s enjoyed conducting experiments to investigate friction and how springs can be used to measure forces.    

On 6 December pupils from years 10 to 13 travelled to London to visit galleries, including the Tate Modern, which helps with art and photography GCSEs and A-levels.  This is a busy day, with plenty of sights to see and images to reflect-on and inspire.  The day was rounded-off with a meal at Pizza Express.  I hope that our budding artists enjoyed the trip and will use the Christmas break to work on their sketchbooks. It can never be underestimated just how much work is required at both GCSE and A-level in all the art-based subjects in order to access the higher grades.  

Last Friday, Mrs Williams-Adedeji, a Rushmoor parent, gave a talk to the A level law students. She explained about the different areas of law that city firms deal with. The students learned the different paths they could take to become a city lawyer, and what exercises they may be asked to complete in an interview.  Thank you to Mrs Williams-Adedeji for taking the time to come in.  

Last week the Rushmoor GCSE drama students took their performance exam for the devised unit. It was lovely to have year 10 and parents as an audience for the dress rehearsal, the performances on the day were excellent. All the boys had a strong sense of ensemble and used lots of daring techniques. The pieces were highly thought provoking and all those involved should be very proud of themselves.  

Year 2 at Rushmoor have been learning all about writing letters for the past few weeks.  As it's that time of year again they wrote to the big man himself...Santa Clause!  This week they finished writing their letters, asking all about what life is like in the North Pole, asking for their favourite toys and most importantly, telling Santa what they love so much about Christmas!  As a class they walked down to the post box to post their letters. We have our fingers and toes crossed that Santa replies! Well done year 2 for some fantastic work in English this term.  

I mentioned in my last blog that I will keep you updated on how our Rushmoor boys did in the next round of the Finals of the Young Mathematicians’ Award.  They went to the next round this week at Sainbury’s and we are awaiting the results.  It is already a huge achievement to have progressed this far, but we are ever hopeful of making it to the Grand Final at the University of Cambridge in January.  Over 400 school teams have taken part nationwide and so the competition is tough, but George Clayton, Abbass Hussain, James Bellingham and Tyler Roach in the secondary school team and Joshua Bell, Jack Searle, Ahdhi Arun and Toby Sutliff in the primary school team all deserve congratulations for making it this far to date.  We are extremely proud of them.   

Sport News:

On 28 November the third session of Active Girls was Body Combat – a mixed martial arts class put to music, taught by their PE teacher, Miss Pearce.  The girls were able to try choreographed kicking and hitting routines (non-contact). They soon worked up a temperature.  So far the girls have experienced Zumba, Yoga and Body Combat and on 5 December they tried spinning.  

St Andrew’s took a team of year 3 and 4 girls to play in a hockey match at Broughton Manor.  For some this was their first experience of playing in a match so there was a mixture of nerves and excitement.  The girls played hard and worked well as a team.  Some thought the best part of the match was afternoon tea at the end. The girls commented: “On Friday 23 November we played hockey against Broughton Manor.  We were all very nervous about playing another team but the other girls were really friendly.  The first half of the game was not our best but it was still fun.  Then in the second half we played much better but unfortunately we still lost. At the end of the game the girls from Broughton Manor were all very nice and said that we had played well.”  

A team of year 7, 8 and 9 girls participated in an Indoor Athletics competition at the Bunyan Centre, after school on 29 November.  This involved a large number of schools and included running, track events, shot, long jump, triple jump, vertical jump and speed bounce.  The girls worked well as a team but a special mention to Demi Sunda who won her six-lap race, helped by her cross-country practice.  Well done also to Evie Maddison who was encouraged by her team to run all the long distance races.  Year 3 and 4 boys and girls from the Alliance also entered the event during the day.  All our participants were outstanding in their running and field events. We finished 4th out of the 32 competing schools which is a great achievement. They should all be very proud of their efforts on the day.  

Congratulations to Shannon Ryall who swam in the ISA swimming gala at the Olympic park in London on Saturday 1 December.  She represented the school by swimming breaststroke in the relay event.  

At the same event 6 Rushmoor pupils also represented North London at the ISA National swimming competition.  All of them did fantastic with lots of improvements in their Personal Best times and ending in positions such as 4th or 5th in individual races.  Well done to Oliver Frame and Joe Hearne who won bronze medals for the Year 9/10 relay.  A brilliant performance from all that competed!  

On 3 December St Andrew’s took 21 girls to the district swimming gala and they all represented the school brilliantly. It was lovely to see a number of girls competing for the first time and they are all to be commended on their efforts.  Ella Stone won the 25m backstroke overall and finished 2nd in 50m backstroke. She also won her heat for 25m butterfly. Shannon Ryall won her heat of 50m freestyle and Jelena Ilic won her heat of 25m freestyle. Ruby Ryall was second in her heat for 25m backstroke and 25m butterfly.  Rushmoor pupils from Year 6 to year 9 also attended the swimming gala.  We had lots of boys ending among the first 3 positions in their heats and 3 golds for some B races. Mr Ferrer and I would like to thank the boys and girls for their great efforts and we look forward to seeing them continue to improve.  

On 6 December girls and boys from years 5 and 6 both took part in an indoor athletics event, with 15 other schools taking part.  There were running, throwing and jumping events so all pupils were able to show their individual strengths as well as work as a team. They all performed brilliantly and won the event.  We are waiting to see if they have qualified for the county finals.  

Well done to the Alliance U11 mixed hockey team who got through to the finals held at Goldington Academy on Tuesday 27 November.  A great effort by everybody involved.  

There have been a large number of rugby fixtures this fortnight as the season comes to an end, some of them mentioned below.  Well done to all that have represented the school.   

Well done to the year 4 rugby players who took part in the ISA National Rugby Competition on Sunday 25 November at Winchester House School.  The team played some great rugby, with excellent levels of effort and I am sure they enjoyed the experience.  Thank you to Mr Thomas and Mr Short for giving up your Sunday to take the team to this event.  

Year 8s played a mid-week fixture against Bedford Junior Blues under the floodlights on the new RFU funded artificial pitch at Bedford Ath.  This was a tough encounter against a very physical and well drilled team. After a slow start, the boys started to grow into the game and displayed some of their best handling and resilience in defence they have shown all season.  A very well done to all players involved who kept stuck in right until the end. Man of the match, nominated by the captain of BJBs, was awarded to Will Stuart.  Thank you to Mr Breeze for taking the pupils.  

Year 5 played their final rugby fixture of 2018 and saved their best performance until last. All players played their part in a great win against a very strong Robert Bloomfield team. Man of the match, nominated by the players, was Oliver Hurley.   

Mr Hawken and the PE department would like to take the opportunity to thank both the students and the parents for the commitment shown to extra-curricular PE since September. Over the term the school have attended almost 75 separate fixtures covering all age groups from KS1 to Year 13, many of these fixtures including multiple teams. Once again a huge number of the school cohort have had the opportunity to represent the school in some capacity on the sports field. We hope the students have a restful Christmas break and return in January ready for another busy term of sport.  

Early Years:  

I am pleased to let you know that Juliet Bromley, a member of the nursery staff at St Andrew’s, has taken on the role of Sensory Co-ordinator and is working with parents to share important developmental information.  Her first information sheet will be sent out to nursery parents soon.    

The pre-school children had a wonderful time putting on an amazing Christmas performance. The nursery team are all extremely proud of them and want to thank parents/grandparents and friends for coming.  

There was also a great turnout for the Christmas stay and play on Saturday when the children enjoyed plenty of winter activities and mince pies.  

Personal Pursuits:

Congratulations to Ben Howard who was selected to join Northamptonshire County Hockey.  He competed in his first County U13 Festival recently, winning two games.    

Well done to Alex Roberts, Rushmoor Year 9, who won his last race of the year at Red Lodge circuit and finished third in the championship this year.  He still has three years in the juniors and is doing well at moving up the rankings, hoping for an even better season next year!      

Principal’s Award:

Arthur Mullaney, year 2,  for always upholding the values of our school and being a great role model for all others to follow.  

Phoebe Phillips in year 6 for her outstanding additional project in History.  

Isabelle Burt in year 6 for her wonderful costume on the Stibbington trip and the passion she shows for History.  

Stephen Muniu for his literacy work.  

Ali Ghazzawi for his spelling and English.  

Charlie Benson for much improved swimming.  

Olivia Crabtree for her Literacy work.      

Junior School Stars of the week:  

Rushmoor School w/c  26 November 2018 

Reception – Harvey Reynolds

1TS – Erin Eaden

2KGL –Jamie Buddle

3JM – Aiya El-Koum

3ST – Whole Class

4EB – Majus Hodges

4ET – Jamie Marshall

5CR – Amelia Hurley

5RS – Liam Kenna

St Andrew’s School

w/c 26 November 2018

Reception – Liliana Sepede

Year 1 – Khushi Masih

Year 2 – Clara Hendry

Year 3/4 - Maddie Enright

Year 5 – Jenna Nethersole

Year 6 – Freya Svendsen    

Rushmoor School

w/c 3 December 2018    

Reception – Eliza-Priya Dass

1TS – Alfie Primus

2KGL – Georgi Savkov-Lin

3JM – Bay Chater

3ST – Qais Ghazzawi

4EB – Jamie Marshall

4ET – Harry Mayrick

5CR – Elyn Daniel

5RS – Matthew Broadbent  

St Andrew’s School

w/c 3 December 2018    

Reception – Oliver Barber

Year 1 – Phoebe Watkin

Year 2 – Emma Hindocha

Year 3/4 - Tilly Norman

Year 5 – Elizabeth Seddon

Year 6 – Eliana Hashemi  

The Nativity plays at both schools have taken place this week, which were wonderful.  The amount of work that goes into putting these performances together is tremendous, so thank you to all the staff involved.  Also thank you to all the mums and dads as I know that many households have been hearing the songs and rehearsing the lines for the past 6 weeks (including mine), as well as providing costumes and props.  Watching the children perform in the Nativity is always a special time of year and makes me realise that Christmas is not far away!  Well done to all the children, you were all wonderful.  

In the early hours of tomorrow morning, I will be heading off to Les Menuires with the ski group.  Please look out for the photographs of our trip, which will be posted via media updates.  Mr Whomsley and Mr Jones will be hosting the Christmas Carol Concerts taking place in the week ahead, which I know will be enjoyable occasions and I am sorry to miss them this year. School ends at 12.00 midday on Friday 14 December 2018.   

All that remains is for me to wish you all a Happy Christmas and New Year.  I look forward to welcoming the pupils back on Tuesday 8 January 2019. Please remember to follow the schools on facebook/twitter and now Instagram (yes, we are modernising!)  

Kind regards

I M Daniel, BA (QTS), NPQH, Principal

Principals Blog - Friday 23rd November

Thank you to all the pupils, parents and staff who went along to the Alliance Ramble on Sunday 11 November at Priory Marina.  It was a nice way to raise money for Children in Need and a chance to walk the dogs too!  The group also respected the two-minute silence in remembrance of Armistice Day.  A mufti-day was held across the Alliance on Friday 16 November and we raised £1,190.90 for Children in Need.  Thank you to everybody who donated both on the day and the ramble.  

Disappointingly, at the planning appeal for the new school build this week, the Local Authority requested an adjournment until February which we had no choice but to accept.  We remain very confident about the outcome.  Governors continue to meet regularly to make positive plans for the future.  

In my last blog I mentioned ways in which parents can help reduce pollution levels around the school.  We have received a positive response from many parents thanking us for highlighting concerns about leaving car engines running unnecessarily.  It is always reassuring to receive good feedback, so thank you to those who have taken the time to respond. 

We were very pleased to invite our 2018 GCSE cohort and their parents to celebration evenings at both St Andrew’s and Rushmoor.  The official GCSE certificates were presented and light refreshments were served.  Thank you to everyone who was able to attend.  

Rushmoor year 5s have produced some wonderful science projects on the topic of the Sun, Earth and Moon and enjoyed showing off their hard work to staff and pupils at an exhibition in the science rooms.  They also had to complete a geography project about a country of their choice, presenting a speech all about the country and either designing a poster to promote the country, singing a song, learning a bit of the language or making a local dish.  As a geography teacher myself, I like to see these sorts of projects and I thought the pupils’ work showed a lot of effort and creativity and they should be proud of their results.  

Last week Mrs Crannis took 4 boys from years 7 and 8 to take part in the Young Mathematicians’ Award at Explore Learning in Sainsbury’s.  This week it was the turn of 4 year 6 pupils.  Having been given a challenge never seen before, devised by Cambridge University, the boys had to try and solve the problem and key to their success would be the way they communicated with each other and the way they communicated their answers.  We are extremely proud to have been able to put forward such strong teams and we have recently heard that both teams have got through to the next round!  Well done to George Clayton, Abbass Hussain, James Bellingham and Tyler Roach, who represented Years 7 and 8, and Toby Sutliff, Aahdi Arun, Joshua Bell and Jack Searle who represented Year 6.  This type of activity helps bring learning to life so I would like to thank Mrs Crannis for entering the teams.  

In my previous blog I mentioned our numerous winners at the Regional ISA Art Competition.  I am delighted that Oliver Hills went on to be highly commended in the National round with ‘Analogue Breakdown’ and Oliver Lewis won first place with ‘Zipped Up’ in his category of fashion design.  Well done to both young men. 

Rushmoor pupils in year 7 are making key rings in their DT lessons this half term.  They are using jewellery making techniques to create key rings from aluminium.  They are using only metal files to shape, the pillar drill to put in the hole, and wet and dry paper/metal polish to finish.  We are looking forward to seeing their final pieces.  

There have been a number of trips throughout the past two weeks, so thank you to all the staff who have been involved in the organisation of them, which include:

Rushmoor year 10 and 11s studying GCSE drama visited Stantonbury in Milton Keynes to watch a the Blackeyed theatre company perform Sherlock Holmes.  

The year 10 and 11 English literature girls are required to study, for GCSE, 15 set poems on the theme ‘Love and Relationships’ and to explore other related poems. To support their studies they attended a Poetry Conference in Cambridge where the speakers were Dr Fred Parker and Dr Brendan Gillott, both academics at the University of Cambridge. The speakers were very engaging and had pitched their presentations at a suitable level for the audience. The girls took notes as they listened, and during the lunch break there was a lively buzz of relevant discussion. Several questions were put to the speakers during the day, which all added to a positive experience of learning. Thank you to Mrs Lowe and Mrs Andrews for taking the girls.  

On Thursday 15 November, pupils in key stage 1 from both St Andrews and Rushmoor visited Woburn safari park to consolidate their learning of African animals and adaptations, which they have been studying in their creative curriculum lessons. The day started with a safari in the minibus, and they saw a wide range of animals that can be found in the grasslands of Africa, including white rhinos, giraffes and elephants. Next they saw monkeys, with one monkey hopping onto the minibus with them. It took a zookeeper to encourage the monkey down as he was having as much fun as the children were. Pupils then had an educational talk from a zoo keeper about animal furs and skin; they were able to feel some furs as well as touching a snake. The pupils had a chance to ask questions as well as answering questions, impressing their teachers with all the information they had learnt. To finish the day, pupils were able to get close to some smaller animals, were splashed by the sea lions, were within touching distance of some monkeys and their babies and were impressed by the meerkats and mongoose. Thank you to all the members of staff who helped on the day. On Thursday 15  November the year 13 Business students attended the Business Show at the Excel in London.  They attended various seminars such as how to set up your own business in property, how to make use of the internet for entrepreneurs and listened to a range of speakers.  The students enjoyed being in this environment and it gave them an insight into the world of business.  They especially enjoyed seeing some familiar faces from the TV such as Harrison from ‘The Apprentice’.  

On Friday 16 November, we took some of the year 12 students to the ‘World Skills UK Live’ at the NEC in Birmingham. This exhibition is the UK’s largest interactive skills, apprenticeships and careers event. We hope that it gave the students an insight into a range of employment options, and some inspiration for careers ideas through the spotlight talks and skill demonstrations.  There were over 130 employers from across the UK in attendance at the exhibition, including BAE Systems, BMW, Coca Cola, HS2, IBM, NHS Careers, Royal Mail, Toyota and the armed forces, offering tops jobs, apprenticeships and training opportunities.  We have taken our year 12 students to this exhibition for the last two years, and they have all found it very useful when considering their post-18 options and future careers.  

St Andrew's year 3 and 4 and Rushmoor's year 4 spent the afternoon on 20 November at the Safety Centre in Milton Keynes. The purpose built centre, named Hazard Alley, has a variety of life-like sets designed to highlight the dangers in everyday settings and help the children to understand how to keep themselves safe. The highlight for many was acting out making a 999 call.  

On Monday, the Year 12 geography students went on a guided walk around Queen's Park led by two local historians. They learnt about how the area had changed from farmland to the hub of engineering industry, and visited the Gurdwara and All Saints Parish church where they interviewed residents of Queens Park.

As part of their Victorian crime and punishment Unit, year 9 visited the London Dungeons on Wednesday. The boys thoroughly enjoyed being scared witless by a selection of Victorian characters including Jack the Ripper and the Lord High Justice as well as a medieval torturer who tied Mr Halliday to a chair and pretended to take out his tongue. 

In their Drama lesson the year 7 girls produced some thoughtful pieces on an anti-bullying week theme of “choose respect”, supported by a very cool technical team.

Key Stage 1 children enjoyed a visit to St Andrew's Church as part of their RE curriculum to learn more about the Christian faith and important parts of a Church.  

Sports News:  

On 13 Nov St Andrew’s year 8 played a pre-season netball friendly against Lincroft. It was a good test for the girls as Lincroft brought their 'A' team and their 'A' game! It was a very even contest and the girls held them for three quarters of the match. Lincroft had an outstanding final quarter and managed to build a lead that we were unable to come back from despite our best efforts. It was a fantastic game of netball, and showed how much progress the girls have made. We look forward to the District Tournament later this month, and the start of the league in February. Players of the match were Ella Stone and Chino Oriaku.  

Two year 5 and 6 hockey teams went to Broughton Manor on 14 November and played some excellent hockey.  Both teams improved greatly as the matches went on and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  Special mention to Sophie Weston who agreed on the day to play GK – she pulled off some amazing saves.  Players of the match were Grace Langridge and Ava Hendry.  Well done to all who took part.

Active Girls took place again on 14 November, and the girls experienced Zumba Bhangra.  They really enjoyed an introduction to this new activity, with loud music, choreography, dancing on the floor, on a step, with weights and partner work.  This was definitely a good workout.  In the weeks to come they have yoga, body combat, spinning and boxfit, so lots to look forward to.  

St Andrew’s U15 netball team played two very hard league matches on Tuesday 20 November. Their netball improved as the games progressed and the girls were able to put into practice many of the skills they have been working on. They played some excellent netball with spirit and determination but unfortunately came up against better teams on the day. Players of the match were Evie Maddison and Shelby Gwiza, but the whole team were a credit to St Andrew's. Well done to everyone who played.  

On Thursday 22 November St Andrew’s took a team of year 7/8 girls to an ISA Hockey tournament held at the Olympic Park, Lee Valley with Miss Ralph and Miss Pearce.  It was a fantastic opportunity for the girls to play on an Olympic pitch – what an experience.  During the morning the girls played three matches to determine whether they would take part in the plate or cup competition in the afternoon. St Andrew’s got through to the plate draw and had the opportunity to play another three games. The girls were all an asset to the school and played their socks off.  Having the chance to play a collection of games in one day certainly helped improve the girls’ confidence, but also the strength of their skills developed dramatically just from listening to Miss Ralph’s helpful hints and tactics. A big thank you to Grandad Ryall for being our mascot for the day and travelling so far to cheer the girls on. The players’ player of the day was Jelena Ilic which was well deserved.  She deserves a special mention for her mature attitude, enthusiasm and determination, whilst remaining level-headed and focused throughout the day.  Well done to all.  

Congratulations to St Andrew’s U13 netball team who got through to the quarter finals of the District Tournament today,

Friday 23 November. They won their group undefeated beating Wixams and Bedford Academy and drawing with Mark Rutherford.  The quarter final was a fantastic match and went goal for goal right to the end.  Unfortunately St Andrew’s lost by one goal so were just a whisker away from the semi finals! We are so proud of our girls - well played everyone. Player of the tournament was Amelia Creasey but all the girls were exceptional.  

Thankfully the cold weather hasn’t stopped Rushmoor pupils taking part in fixtures over the last fortnight.  With only a few weeks left of the season we have seen Year 3 to Year 11 out on rugby fixtures.  The year 11 team travelled to Mark Rutherford this week in bitterly cold conditions.  After initial difficulties with a big strong opponent the players got stuck in and produced a spirited performance. Tries from Tom Sayer and Edward Findley and some great kicking from George Child weren't enough in a 24-14 loss.  MoM: Elliott Fitzpatrick  

Year 5 and 6 took part in their respective ISA National Rugby Tournaments.  Despite both tournaments being interrupted by cold and wet weather, both year groups played some fantastic rugby and thoroughly enjoyed their days out.  Well done to everyone involved. Last week we took an Alliance team across to the ISA London North Badminton championships. Over the day the students played a range of schools from across our region.  Some excellent wins along with some very tight losses made for a worthwhile day for the students.  

We also took two teams to play in a mixed hockey league at Goldington Academy. Despite the cold and wet conditions both teams played really well and enjoyed themselves, with the boys and girls working well together. We look forward to more hockey fixtures next term.    

Year 10 and 11 rugby squads have been invited to an England Touch Rugby training session during their games and club session.  This is an exciting opportunity to introduce the growing sport of touch rugby to our students with the aim of developing a team to compete in inter-schools tournaments and the annual Bedford Touch Summer League.  The year 10 squad took a lot away from their session and enjoyed the experience.  Year 11 training will be during games on 4th December.  

EYFS NEWS

At St Andrew’s Nursery, the babies have had great fun exploring what water can do as they got dressed in their waterproof suits and explored with a range of resources to mix, pour and transfer. The nursery staff firmly believe in outdoor play in all weathers and the children were given warm water to play with to ensure that the learning opportunity was enjoyable. The children displayed high levels of engagement and added their own resources such as pebbles that they stacked and counted together. They also added vanilla essence and bubbles to the water to further extend the children’s interest. The pre-school children enjoyed ‘p’ for pirate day as they dared to sail upon the dangerous seas and walk the plank. They have also been creative and making their own miniature Christmas cakes ready to take home and enjoy over the Christmas period. 

EYFS at Rushmoor have been following the children’s interests and their learning has been based around the topic ‘Space’.  The children have enjoyed looking at non-fiction books to find out more information. The children have been using storytelling props to create their own stories based around the book ‘Whatever Next’ by Jill Murphy.  They created their own Space Creature characters using a range of resources.  The children had to think about what their creature would look like, what their creature would be called and what their creature might eat.    

PRINCIPAL’S AWARD:  

Phoebe Phillips in year 6 for her imaginative homework – Physical Geography of Europe.  

Jelena Ilic in year 8 for her outstanding attitude, enthusiasm and determination at the ISA hockey tournament.  

Jake Sporle in geography for his earthquake model.  

Matthew Eaden for classwork.  

Oliver Weir for code breaking and puzzles in maths.  

Harry Clayton and Qais Ghazzawi for consistent outstanding work.  

Shea O’Donnell for being a good role model to younger pupils and great work ethic.

Lilia-Diya Dass for her literacy work.    

JUNIOR SCHOOL STARS:   Rushmoor School w/c  12 November 2018           

Reception – Madinah Shafi

1TS – Charlie Benson

2KGL – Teddy French

3JM – Ruby Stoughton

3ST – Danushka Gunasekara

4EB – George Penlington

4ET – Jacob O’Neill

5CR – Rio Noto

5RS – Blaine Kelly

St Andrew’s School w/c 12 November 2018 – Children in Need Stars

Charlotte Allen Kimora Darragh Maddie Enright Elsie Francis Cerys Holley Bronwyn Phillips Florence Stott Lucia Trelevan Helen Weston Hannah Woodruff    

Rushmoor School w/c 19 November 2018           

Reception – Arthur Lees

1TS – Alfie Primus

2KGL – Stephen Muniu

3JM – Tanishk Barve

3ST – Harry Clayton

4EB – Arman Treis

4ET – Tom Ulvert

5CR – Eros Di Pace

5RS – Harry Ridgeon

St Andrew’s School w/c 19 November 2018     

Reception – Emily Perry

Year 1 –  Max Hendry

Year 2 – Ruby Parrish

Years 3/4 – Flossy Stott

Year 5 – Amy Parrish

Year 6 – Grace Langridge      

PERSONAL PURSUITS: It’s great to see two of our pupils enjoying rowing.  Well done to Curtis Fisher and Ewan John for taking part in a regatta at Henley recently.  We look forward to watching you progress in this sport.

We were delighted to learn that Thomas Kilroy participated in another stage production, which follows on from his work during the summer.  Thomas was part of a gala performance entitled ‘A Night at the Musicals’, which was held on Friday 16 November at Aylesbury’s Waterside Theatre.  We were also pleased to hear that Thomas has successfully auditioned for The National Theatre Connections production at Milton Keynes Theatre.  The show takes a lot of commitment with rehearsals every week until April. The play is called ‘Flesh’ and it will be performed at Milton Keynes and Northampton Derngate. Well done Thomas, we are very proud of you.

Congratulations to Ben Handscombe in Year 4 who was awarded Man of the Match at the weekend.  Ben plays for Sandy Colts Football Team.  

On Friday 14 December Rushmoor and St Andrew’s pupils and staff are able to wear Christmas attire and will donate £1 to charity.  This year we are donating the money to MNDA, Motor Neurone Disease Association.  Sam Buck, in year 11 at Rushmoor, is raising awareness of MND since his auntie, Emma, was first diagnosed in March 2018, age 37.  Emma has started a Facebook blog page called ‘Mummy with MND’; this has started to raise awareness and also tells people about her journey with MND.  The money raised with help the charity support other families coping with the disease as well as work towards finding a cure, which at the moment there isn’t one.

Returning items of lost property remains a high priority for us.  Please could I ask all parents to check uniform and kit once again to ensure that ALL items are named.  This makes it so much easier to repatriate belongings back to pupils, but if you do find you are missing any items at all then please do contact Mrs McLoughlin by email (EMcloughlin@rushmoorschool.co.uk) at Rushmoor, and Mrs Boland (hboland@standrewsschoolbedford.com) or Mrs Heaney (sheaney@standrewsschoolbedford.com) at St Andrew’s.  

Kind regards

I M Daniel, BA (QTS), NPQH

Principal

Principal's Blog - Friday 9th November

Before we broke up for half term a group of senior pupils from across the alliance who are studying GCSE Geography went off on a field trip. I remember my own geography fieldtrips and they were never like this one! The group travelled to Sicily to discover some of its geographical secrets, including a visit to Mount Etna, one of Europe’s highest active volcanoes. These type of trips really do help embed what the pupils are learning in the classroom. Thank you to Miss Ross and Miss Lawrence for organising the trip, together with Mr Jones and Miss Rayer for accompanying the group on this wonderful enrichment opportunity. We’ve already had one student go off to university to study physical geography at degree level, so let’s hope this inspires some more to keep studying this fascinating subject.

Rushmoor and St Andrew’s pupils and staff commemorated the centenary of the end of World War One today by holding a Remembrance Day assembly and holding 2 minutes silence at 11am. Remembrance Day is a day for the nation to remember and honour those who have sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom.

We are looking forward to the alliance ski trip, which is departing on 8 December; this week we held a meeting to advise parents and pupils of our expectations and provide information on travel arrangements, ski equipment, ski school and evening entertainment. I have been organising the ski trips for much of the 30 years I have been at Rushmoor and they are always a wonderful experience. We are a unique school because we encourage families to all come along, which has proved successful, with many coming numerous times. The next ski trip for 2019 is already being organised so please contact the school office if you would like to find out more. Children from year 4 and above may attend unaccompanied. For pupils in year 3 and below an adult family member must also attend. All pupils will attend ski school according to their ability, which will comprise of Rushmoor and St Andrew’s pupils only, so there is plenty of free time for adults, or, if you prefer, you can join in with the alliance ski lessons.

Thank you to Mrs Crannis for arranging for a group of our senior mathematicians to visit Warwick University to participate in the ‘Maths in Action Day’ this week. The speakers looked at maths from different perspectives and included the mechanics of spinning objects, the dark net, statistics and the lies that can be behind them, an interactive puzzle session from Alex Bellos, who sets the puzzles in a national newspaper, and finished with a professional mathematical modeller who discussed whether or not there is a risk of Artificial Intelligence taking over financial institutions leading to an apocalypse. The boys really listened and joined in and one of our students went on stage twice! I hear it was a thoroughly enjoyable day for both staff and students.

Mrs Crannis also took George Clayton, Abbass Hussain, James Bellingham and Tyler Roach to take part in the National Young Mathematicians' Award on Thursday. We are eagerly awaiting the results and will let you know when we receive them. Well done boys!

Another alliance trip took place this week; year 5 from St Andrew’s and year 6 from Rushmoor had the chance to visit The Black Country Museum as part of the history curriculum. This former industrial land is used to tell the story of the creation of the world’s first industrial landscape, with authentic shops, houses and workshops reconstructed. This trip brings the industrial revolution to life with the chance for the pupils to explore and experience the authentic sights, sounds, smells and tastes from the past.

I have been delighted with the number of pupils from across the alliance who have taken up the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Thank you to Mr Morrish, Mrs Andrews and Mr Mudzvovera who are doing an excellent job with promoting and running this worthwhile enrichment activity. It has been the best ever response from pupils in year 9, 10 and 11 and I know that they will enjoy the challenges. As I have said many times before, the Duke of Edinburgh Award is not only character building, but it requires commitment, which is something that universities and employers value. When I read somebody’s CV I always look at what they have done over and above the ‘norm’ as this makes them stand out from the crowd. Well done to all those who are working towards their bronze, silver and gold awards.

I was personally delighted that so many of our pupils received high praise at the London Region ISA Art Competition, which took place before half term. Their work has already been displayed on FaceBook, but I would like to take this opportunity to say well done to Oliver Hills, Rhys Macharia and Ieuan Daniel who came first in their categories, together with Sam Gale, Simeon Gay and Tom Berridge who were awarded 2nd or 3rd place in their categories. We also had a number of our former year 13s achieve 1st place in various categories. I know that two of them have now moved on to study art-based subjects in further education, which is pleasing. Unfortunately, none of the St Andrew’s entries were placed, but we are hoping for success next year. Art subjects are something that we consider extremely important and we are delighted with these results.

Thank you to those parents who took time to attend the Parent Council Meeting recently. Of course, the hot topic was the progress surrounding the planning appeal. This has been taking up a lot of time and the governors and I have been attending various meetings with our legal advisors, so we are hopeful for a sensible outcome shortly.

We have had various senior parental consultation evenings taking place during this week, including one for our sixth formers. Thank you to all those who attended, I hope they were helpful. Please do not hesitate to contact the subject teacher should you have any further questions. Email addresses can be found on the websites. The first set of UCAS applications were sent off this week and some have already received offers.

Thank you to Mrs Lowe and Mrs Johnson for arranging the year 11 mock interview sessions this evening, which will be taking place at St Andrew’s School. Thank you also to our parents for volunteering to help with this event. It is an invaluable experience for our senior pupils to discover how to conduct themselves during the interview process. Not only is this useful for employment opportunities, but also some further education establishments ask individuals to attend interviews. Thank you to Mrs Howard, a Rushmoor parent, who has come in every Friday morning this term to help our Year 11 pupils write their CVs and prepare them for the interviews.
To all Senior pupils – please use this link to view all opportunities available for post 16 studies at our joint 6th form http://www.rushmoorschool.co.uk/sixth_form.php 
Year 7 Rushmoor pupils have just finished reading 'Room 13' by Robert Swindells in their English lessons. They have been busy applying their creative skills and knowledge of the book to design 'Room 13' themed board games and, of course, testing them out!

On Friday 16 November we are supporting Children in Need by having a Mufti Day for all pupils. Senior pupils have the option to wear something spotty if they wish but otherwise can wear appropriate mufti. Our Juniors will be joining the Big ‘Spotacular’ event with schools across the nation to raise funds for BBC Children in Need. Spots will definitely be the theme of the day and we are asking pupils to come to school with a minimum donation of £1. Should you wish, your child may come to school dressed from head-to-toe in spots – the more innovative the costume the better. Please don’t worry if your child does not have anything spotty to wear or would prefer to come to school in mufti – the aim of the day is to raise money. 

In addition to this, our fundraising ‘Thing’ in the Junior School alliance will be a Children in Need Countryfile Ramble. We are inviting children from both Junior schools to raise funds by having a fun family ramble on Sunday 11th November. We will be setting off from the entrance to Priory Marina at 10.30am and are aiming to ramble as many laps of the Country Park as possible in an hour. The perimeter path is approximately 3 miles (4.2 km) and we are recommending that people sponsor the children per mile. All sponsorship monies can be paid directly via this fundraising page: https://countryfile-ramble-for-bbc-children-in-need-2018.everydayhero.com/uk/RSTA

This will be a fun activity for the whole family and parents will need to accompany their children at all times. If you would like to participate please let Mrs Boland or Gina know so that we know how many people to expect on the day. We are aiming to raise a minimum of £800 from this activity! Unfortunately, I am unable to attend as I am in Wales, but I hope the weather is kind to you all.

SPORT NEWS:
Before half term I spent most of the week at St Andrew’s School because Mr Jones was away on the Sicily trip. During that time, I was really pleased to see how enthusiastic the girls are about sport, not just in their games lessons, but for the extra-curricular clubs and fixtures too. Since I took over as Principal at St Andrew’s in 2013 I have made it my aim to promote sport for all ability levels, just as we have always done at Rushmoor. Finding a sport that you enjoy is important and as sports teachers our main aim must be to encourage participation in a healthy lifestyle into adulthood. The enthusiasm shown by our sports staff across the alliance since the beginning of this academic year has been really pleasing to see and I know the pupils appreciate your commitment and are benefitting greatly from it.

Well done to the year 4 pupils from across the alliance who took part in the Multi Sports Competition run by Team Beds and Luton, which took place just before half term. The competition promoted determination, honesty, passion, respect, self-belief and teamwork. Above all, the pupils had an enjoyable, competitive experience and we would like to thank Scott Primary School for hosting the event.

On Wednesday 10 October the introduction to Active Girls commenced with girls from a variety of schools gathering at the athletics stadium for team building activities so that they could all get to know each other. The girls were each given an IFIT band (similar to a Fitbit) so that they are able to log their activity and steps between now and March. Look how COOL they are, modelled by the year 8/9 girls who are involved in the 2018/19 programme. The Active Girls programme commences properly on Wednesday 17 October. It has been organised by the council and Fusion, and is designed to encourage girls to be active, as well as introduce girls to new activities that may influence them to get involved. Miss Pearce has been involved in this programme for the last couple of years and strongly believes that there is a physical activity for everyone. Not all girls like the traditional, competitive sports like netball, hockey, rounders or cross- country and Active Girls is designed especially for this………… finding an activity for all.
Rushmoor and St Andrew’s swimmers did us proud at the ISA Regional Swimming heats before half term. After a bright and early start, they fought their way through the traffic and swam their hearts out! Charlotte Allen finished 3rd in both her backstroke and breaststroke heats; Sophie Weston won her backstroke heat; Amy Parrish came 3rd in her breaststroke heat. There were 9 different races for Rushmoor and our students got 4 first places, 2 second places and 3 third places in their heats. In the final, Toby Sutliff and Jack Searle obtained a silver medal in back stroke and breast stroke, and Alex Clayton got a bronze medal in front crawl qualifying to the ISA Nationals at the London Aquatics Centre at the Olympic Park. Congratulations to all who competed.

On 16 October years 10 and 11 played Mark Rutherford in the netball league. It was a very close-fought match that we eventually lost, but the girls played really well. Special mention to Sana Abidi who played out of position at GS, and to Elizabeth Hazel, who stepped in to help out at the last minute. Player of the Match was Angel-Mei Nicholls.

On Tuesday 6 November, seven students from St Andrews joined up with another seven from Rushmoor to take part in the year 2 multi sports festival at Castle Newnham. The afternoon allowed the students an opportunity to develop a range of skills used across a wide range of sports including, jumping, striking and balancing. They even had the opportunity to try new skills such as tri-golf and uni-hoc. Great fun was had by all students and they performed extremely well throughout the afternoon, especially those who overcame their nerves. Well done to all who took part.

Year 9 girls took part in a badminton tournament on Thursday 8 November hosted by Bedford Academy and Sharnbrook. This was their first experience of playing both singles and doubles in match conditions. The girls played well, with some good results, but unfortunately did not qualify for the next round. However, they are looking forward to their next tournament in Milton Keynes. Well done to Hanaadi Ghazzawi, Christabel Nyamtowo, Lorna Whitehead and Chiamaka Oriaku.

Over the last fortnight we have had a large number of rugby fixtures from Year 3 to Year 10. They have all played some superb rugby with many wins. Year 6 have also had a football tournament this term and gave a good account of themselves considering it is out of our football season. They won 3 out of the 6 games and improved as the day went on. A special mention to Ben Bramwell who was our defensive rock and James Wookey who was clinical in front of goal as always.
I would also like to thank all the parents, grandparents and guardians that come and watch the fixtures. Even now with the weather turning, it is great to see so much support on the sidelines.

In the week leading up to half term Rushmoor pupils from Yr4 to Yr11 took part in the new inter house x-country events during their games lessons. This new competition feeds into the new House Sports Trophy and overall House Cup. Later in the year students will also take part in inter house rugby, football, swimming and sports day. Students who finished in the top 12 for their group received two merits for their effort. The winning house in the year groups are: Year 10/11: Owen, Year 8/9: Richardson, Year 6/7: Owen, Year 4/5: Tied Randall/Richardson.

Under 9 Akeley Wood rugby festival – 7 November 2018. The very talented year 4 rugby team were unlucky not to win this prestigious event. After comprehensive wins against Akeley Wood and Warwick the boys had to beat Berkhamstead to qualify for the final, we lost 5 tries to 4 in a very even game. We went on to beat Swanbourne 6 tries to 1 in the 3rd/4th place playoff. Our victors won the final in a very one sided affair, showing how close we were to lifting the trophy again. Mr Thomas has high hopes of the boys challenging in the ISA national tournament next year.

Today Rushmoor is holding the ISA U11 Rugby Tournament. As I write this we have made a good start with 2 wins and 1 loss, we will update you via our facebook page. Thank you to Mr Hawken and the PE department for arranging this event.

EYFS NEWS
Both of our Reception classes across the alliance hosted a ‘Reception in Action’ morning this week. The Nursery children that will be moving up into Reception in September, had the opportunity to spend the morning exploring Reception. The parents were invited into school to find out information and during the morning the parents were able to take part in busy fingers and a story session with their child. The children had time to explore the new environment through indoor and outdoor play during the morning. I would like to thank everybody who visited or helped to arrange this event.

At St Andrew’s, the pre-school staff and children have had a very busy time making the most of Autumn, with an adventure to Harrold and Odell Country Park where they explored the woods, climbed trees, made dens and hid in the undergrowth. Preschool children also carved pumpkins and chopped some up to make pumpkin soup which was delicious. They enjoyed having it at teatime with chunks of bread.
Orange and Black Day saw a great range of costumes and colour which Owls went to show off to the Residents of Charter House. They played a pumpkin fishing game, sang Autumn songs and came away with a gift of sweets from their friends after a round of applause.

Nursery finished the week with outdoor day which promotes learning in the outside and getting muddy. Preschool took full advantage of the wet weather putting on their splash suits, making clay faces and collecting treasure found in the outdoor area to stash in their treasure tins.

Stories are an important part of young children’s learning and in EYFS they are on a mission to make story time something the children will always remember. Each week the Rushmoor Robins welcome in a ‘secret reader’ to tell a story to the class. Parents, grandparents or other family members will have the opportunity to sign up to bring in a story from home to read to the children. The children are very excited each week to see who the mystery reader would be. The children enjoyed listening to the story ‘Peter Rabbit’ and taking part in some activities linked to the story. The children are looking forward to seeing who will be the next secret reader! Will it be you?

Following the children’s interests in EYFS the children have been learning about Autumn. The children visited Bedford Park where the leaves had started to change and fall, scattering an array of different colours and shapes across the ground. The children enjoyed looking for different signs of Autumn on the walk. The children continued their learning back in the classroom.

JUNIOR NEWS
On Tuesday 16 October staff and children in Reception, year 1 and year 2 went exploring in Bedford Park. They were looking for signs of autumn to take back to school on a special sticky board. They found beautiful leaves everywhere and the children were soon busy collecting as many as they could, identifying deciduous and ever-green trees as they went. They found lots of empty acorn shells and spotted several hungry squirrels enjoying the tasty acorns before the cold winter arrives. The children thought they might be able to crunch through the leaves with their boots, but the damp weather had made them soft and soggy and made some of the leaves tricky to stick on to the boards too – so the children filled their pockets with autumnal treasures! Back at school they covered their boards with the rest of their finds and used them to inspire their creative writing! The children really enjoyed their outing and are looking forward to a return visit to look for signs of spring next year.

In the three weeks running up to half term, years 5 and 6 took part in an ISA Digital Art competition. The aim was to use technology to produce a piece of artwork that had relevance to them. All pupils worked really hard on their piece, even coming in at lunchtimes to get them completed. Sadly, the competition rules required that only one piece could be submitted as our entry and the pupils voted on the winning design. Whilst everyone produced a wonderful piece of work, the entry that was ultimately put forward was called 'Bright Sparks' by Isabelle Burt. We all wish Isabelle's design well but a huge congratulations must go to all those who took part.

Huge congratulations to Mr Farnsworth and the current year 6 girls who have won first place in the film category of the ISA Film and Digital Art Competition 2018. Their film entitled "Does money bring happiness" was produced whilst the girls were in year 5 and can be viewed on this link: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IqmPaE8RFPQ. What an achievement, well done to all.

PRINCIAL’S AWARD:
Kimora Darragh in year 6 for her excellent classwork in Maths.
Caroline Demuth in year 10 for her outstanding presentation on Happiness in English.
Luke Smart for outstanding work in English.
Oliver Weir for doing so well in his maths challenge.
Amelia Hurley, Eros Di Pace and Oliver Millard for their weekend diaries.

JUNIOR SCHOOL STARS: 
Rushmoor School
w/c 15 October 2018

Reception – Tom Hall
1TS – Tom Marshall
2KGL – Lilia-Diya Dass
3JM – Yazan Ghazzawi
3ST – Woody Brown
4EB – Whole Class
4ET – Oscar Wood
5CR – Kian Woolven
5RS – Jonathan Camatchee

St Andrew’s School
w/c 15 October 2018 
Reception - Marciano Sansevero
Year 1 - Matilda D'Cruze
Year 2 - Gabriel Holland
Year 3/4 - Bronwyn Phillips
Year 5 - Charlotte Pettitt
Year 6 - Cerys Holley

Rushmoor School
w/c 5 November 2018

Reception – Eliza Burchell
1TS – Nyah Wooding
2KGL – Elle Nyoni
3JM – Olivia Crabtree
3ST – Jae Sunda
4EB – Kai Wolkenstein
4ET – Tom Ulvert
5CR – Alessio Sepede
5RS – Ollie Instrell

St Andrew’s School
w/c 5 November 2018

Reception – Marciano Sansevero
Year 1 – Elijah Masih
Year 2 – Agnes Barrett
Years 3/4 – Deborah Nyamtowo
Year 5 – Amelie Walsh
Year 6 – Phoebe Phillips/Lillie Morris

PERSONAL PURSUITS:

Well done to Malique Roach who was selected for the County football squad last weekend playing against Warwickshire. A great opportunity Malique!

Congratulations to Ewan John for winning his category in the 2k at the Bedford river head with a time of 8.50. That is very impressive considering the very wet and windy conditions. We are very proud of you Ewan!

On Saturday 13 October, The Skydive Recruitz, competed in the UK National indoor formation skydiving event at Twinwoods Adventure. After a long day and 10 competitive flights against adult teams from across the UK, the two Recruitz teams (consisting of 7 pupils from St Andrews and Rushmoor; Jorja Bell, Jelena Ilic, George Clayton, Zak Myles, Zak Horne, Edward Chrystal & Joe Davis) finished 4th (narrowly missing a podium finish) and 9th in their respective categories. The teams are now back into training and preparing for more competitive action in the New Year.

We received an email recently from a parent with an interesting observation he wanted to share. During collection times from school, many parents are seen sitting in their cars with the engine running. Firstly, the major concern from the parent was the increasing levels of pollution around residential areas, but more importantly schools. There was a recent news story about London schools suffering pollution (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-44235230) and whilst we are not in such a densely populated area as London, the principal of clean air around schools is an important one. There was also a second point raise and this was that it could be an offence to be in an idling car and could lead to a fine. On a public road, it indeed is illegal to sit in your car whilst keeping the engine running within the UK. The Highway Code states: 'You MUST NOT leave a parked vehicle unattended with the engine running or leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road'. Obviously my biggest concern is the health effects on the pupils in the school, but the other point is also an interesting one! (https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/advice/emissions/idling/) 

Kind regards

I M Daniel, BA (QTS), NPQH
Principal

Principal's Blog - Friday 12th October

Thank you to everybody who came along to the Open Mornings.  We were pleased to show around lots of prospective families across the alliance and look forward to many of them joining us over the course of the next 12 months.  As always, the pupils were wonderful and made me feel extremely proud of our schools. 

It was great to see parents and pupils from the senior years coming along to the sixth form to find out about the next steps the alliance offers.  There will be opportunities over the course of this academic year for our year 11 pupils to find out more about the subjects for higher education.  Please do feel free to contact Mrs Beattie, Sixth Form Director, if you have any questions.

Parental consultation meetings are underway, starting with year 6 and year 11 at Rushmoor and year 11 at St Andrew’s, followed by both junior schools.  I hope that these all proved helpful and show how your child is settling into their new year group.  I would particularly remind year 11s to take on board any advice given at the consultation meetings because the next 7 months are going to go very quickly and then they will face their formal examinations in May and June.  They need to fully focus in order to achieve their best.

Year 11 pupils and sixth formers studying business visited Jaguar Land Rover on Thursday 4 October.  I know that this visit was of great interest to many of the pupils just because they were visiting a car manufacturer, but I am sure they found the whole business experience worthwhile and that it helped to reinforce what they are learning in the classroom.

Thank you to everybody who contributed to the Harvest Festival celebrations at Rushmoor and St Andrew’s.  The junior school children put a lot of effort into their performance and did really well, especially when you consider they only had a few short weeks to prepare.  The items you kindly donated have been given to Bedford’s Food Bank in order to help our community. 

With the Harvest Festivals now complete, the junior pupils have already started to learn the Christmas songs for their nativity plays and we are half-way into October!

Mrs Chaplin and Mrs Turner travelled to Waltham Abbey yesterday to enter a number of pieces in the ISA regional art competition.  It was a successful day with Rushmoor coming 1st in nine categories, 2nd in two categories and 4 pupils receiving a Highly Commended prize. Copies of our entries are shown on the attached page, so please take a look.

My thanks to Mrs Lowe for encouraging the year 10 girls at St Andrew’s to independently prepare and perform such an enjoyable assembly today on the theme of being happy, especially in school.  Mrs Lowe said it was brilliant to see them all pulling together at the planning stage, and that they all acknowledged how great it is to be at St Andrew’s School. These are the year 10’s ten steps to happiness.

Thank you to the alliance PTFA volunteers and Kieran Singh (DJ from year 13) for organising the discos for children in years 2 to 4 and years 7 to 9.  I hope the children enjoyed them.  More discos will follow for years 5 and 6 in March.  Proceeds from the discos have been donated to CHUMS charity. 

Thank you to Rushmoor pupils and their families for donating cakes for our cake sale in aid of the Starlight Charity.  We raised a grand total of £484.38!  The charity supports seriously ill children, both during their time in hospital and granting their wishes.

On 9 November 2018, Members of UK Youth Parliament will come together to debate and decide in their House of Commons setting the most important issue that they will campaign on for the year ahead.  They will decide this from the top 5 issues voted for by young people from across the UK in the Make Your Mark ballot.  The Rushmoor School Council has led this vote for Rushmoor pupils aged 11-18.  From those that voted we found the most popular topic was 'Put an end to knife crime'. This was then followed by 'Mental Health' and 'A curriculum to prepare us for life'.  Thank you to all pupils that voted.

At St Andrew’s there has been an excellent level of interest from those wishing to complete the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award.  Thirteen girls will be taking part, and my thanks go to Mrs Andrews for promoting and co-ordinating within the school.

Sport News:

The St Andrew’s PE Department have interviewed and elected Sports Captains for this year.  Shelby Gwiza is Sports Captain for Senior School and Ella Wing is Sports Captain for Junior School.  Lillie Morris is the Junior School representative supporting Ella.  Congratulations to them on their roles of responsibility.

On Thursday 4 October years 5/6 travelled to Westfield school for their netball match.  This was probably the most aggressive game the girls have played as most of the opposition were also footballers! Due to injury some of the girls played out of position – Sophie Weston as GK, Jenna Nethersole did some shooting and Mia Gross played GD.  The match taught them a lot about playing an attacking game and Mia Gross shone in this aspect.  The final score was 1-1, so well done to all who played.  Player of the match was Jenna Nethersole.

On Wednesday 10 October the Active Girls Scheme was introduced with a fun session of Hungry Hippos.  The girls all had great fun and this scheme is a good way for girls to experience different types of exercise. Well done to all who took part.

Two year 6 netball teams went to Goldington on Wednesday 10 October.  The red team had a really tough match but kept their heads high and played some good netball.  Goldington were a strong team and it was a very close match.  Players of the match were Grace Langridge and Mia Gross.  The blue team played equally well, fighting hard and giving 100% effort.  They won their match 1-0.  Player of the match was Ava Hendry. Well done year 6.

Every Friday afternoon it is great to see years 3, 4 and 5 girls from Rushmoor and St Andrew’s all playing netball together on the St Andrew’s netball pitches.  They really enjoy learning new skills and improving their play.

Our new year 12 sixth form students have received their passes to Towers Health and Fitness Club and it has been pleasing to see them making use of the fantastic facilities.  The aim is to encourage a lifelong love of fitness and by being part of the club it introduces a more adult-based exercise routine, which we hope they enjoy. It is also pleasing to see these students (both male and female) join up with year 11’s to take part in district dodgeball events recently.Well done to everyone who took part.

It has been another busy fortnight for fixtures at Rushmoor.  The Year 3s had their first competitive rugby match for the school on Tuesday 2 October. The boys were victorious 6 tries to 4 and played some very exciting rugby. It was great to see their defensive play improve as the match progressed. They had their second match later in the week against BMS where BMS scored late on to draw the match. It is great to see our youngest competitive team playing with so much freedom and creativity. MoM Noah Wetherall.

The Year 10 rugby team travelled to Quinton House. In a very hard fought game the students worked well with some great individual performances in both attack and defence. The team lost out to the better team on the day but can be pleased with the improvements they are making scoring two well worked tries in response.  MoM- Harry Costello and Oscar Smith.

Year 5 played their first rugby fixture away to Pitsford School. The game finished as a 7 - 7 draw with both teams playing some fantastic rugby.  Our Year 4 A and B team played Bedford School last week.  Our As were very unlucky to be on the losing side in this very even match. With better protection of the ball it would have been a very different result. MoM Albie Beeden.  Our Bs drew 6 - 6 in a very open match. The boys showed good teamwork and scored some great tries. MoM Cameron Venn.

This week we took both a junior and intermediate boys team to the first round of the English Schools Cross Country at Robert Bloomfield. The first real cross country event of the year is always tough and the students were up against high quality opposition from across the region.  Both teams ran well with Oscar Smith the pick of the runners with a 11th place finish in a very competitive intermediate boys race.  

Well done to all the students who ran and we now look forward to both the inter house x-country and the ISA events in the new year.  More boys are running at Stagsden today, good luck! Well done to our table tennis team who played at Bedford Academy this week.  They came second in the group, but unfortunately only the top place qualified.  The team played very well, a special mention to Ben Whitehead who won both his single matches.

The Year 2 rugby course came to an end this week, the children celebrated the end of the course by playing a mini tournament with all the schools that took part over the past 5 weeks.  Rushmoor played brilliantly, with Jamie Buddle scoring a total of 8 tries and George Steed scoring 4. One thing that was evident during their matches, was the total sportsmanship these children demonstrated. The children came together and played as a team, winning 2/3 matches.  Well done to all the children who took part and I hope to see them all carry on playing rugby!  

EYFS News

Pre-School Owls children and staff have been to the woods with their journey bags collecting lots of exciting things such as pine cones, leaves, sticks and feathers.  The children had fun climbing trees whilst learning about the dangers, searched for small creatures and watched squirrels burying nuts and scampering up trees. 

Continuing with the autumn theme, and making the most of seasonal fruit, the children have also made apple crumble. Every child had their own bowl so that they could do their own measuring and mixing, resulting in a scrummy crumble to take home.

The babies are enjoying their new outside area including the large sand-tipping and pouring, and having adventures up and down the slide.  

Following the children’s interests this week in Rushmoor EYFS they have been den building inside and outside.  In the dens the children have enjoyed mark making, role play and story times.

In EYFS the children have enjoyed their daily Busy Finger activities.  Busy Fingers helps support the children’s fine motor control.  This week the children have been getting messy by forming the new letters they have been learning in phonics. After learning the song 5 Currant Buns inside the nursery the children took their learning outside.  They decided to create a bakers shop.  The children designed and then worked together using a range of construction materials.

In Reception the children have been taking part in daily phonics sessions.  The children have been learning to read words using this week’s new sounds. Using giant sound buttons the children enjoyed jumping across the sounds to read the word.

Principal’s Awards:

Isabelle Clegg in year 8 for her excellent work in English.

Hayden Heyhoe-Fisher for his English work.

Noah Wetherall for great numeracy work.

Rhys Macharia for art homework on the theme of ‘red’.

Charlie Ridgeon for his writing challenge work.

Oliver Onyett for his geography presentation.

Samuel Burchell for his fantastic handwriting.

Luke Smart for outstanding effort in English all term, producing several pieces of GCSE level work.        

Junior School Stars:  

Rushmoor School w/c 1st October 2018            Reception – Arthur Lees 1TS – Alfie Primus 2KGL – Oliver Lees 3JM – Farell Kotecha 3ST – Ethan Ndokera 4EB – Cameron Venn 4ET – Sam Moffat 5CR – Whole Class 5RS – Oliver Hurley

St Andrew’s School w/c 1st October 2018       Reception – Emily Perry Year 1 –  Fox Choy Year 2 – Tiggy Willcocks Years 3/4 – Maddie Enright Year 5 – Amelia Perry Year 6 – Ava Hendry

Rushmoor School w/c 8th October 2018            Reception – Eliza-Priya Dass 1TS – Erin Eaden 2KGL – George Steed 3JM – Olivia Crabtree 3ST – Billy Bell 4EB – Leonard Owino 4ET – Vinaya Patel 5CR – Rio Noto 5RS – Rhys Brown

St Andrew’s School w/c 8th October 2018      Reception – Liliana Sepede Year 1 –  Spike Haskins-Yapp Year 2 – Zaynab Baloch Years 3/4 – Lucia Treleven Year 5 – Lydia Shortland Year 6 – Saikesha Comatchee  

Personal Pursuits:

Ethan Kenna has just started playing for Bromham Football Club and on his first week representing the club he won the player of the match! He was the only volunteer to go in goal for one of his matches, he didn't let any goals in and his coach said he listened really well for the whole tournament! Well done Ethan!

Simeon Gay visited Lords Cricket Ground this week to receive a Young Leaders Cricket Award.  As part of his Duke of Edinburgh award Simeon has been volunteering at his local club coaching the younger players.  He also organised a charity event and raised £750 for Cancer Research.  Congratulations Simeon!

The Skydive Recruitz, are in action this weekend with two teams competing in the UK National indoor formation skydiving event at Twinwoods Adventure.  The Recruitz squad includes 2 students from St Andrews (Jorja Bell yr 9 & Jelena Ilic yr 8,) and 5 from Rushmoor (George Clayton yr 8, Zak Myles yr 7, Zak Horne yr 8, Edward Chrystal yr 7 & Joe Davis yr 6).  Both teams are aiming for podium finishes which should secure them qualification for next year’s World Championships in Lille, France.  The competition runs from 09.00-19.00 on Saturday 13 October, if you have time to cheer the teams on all support is welcome.

The Alliance PTFA are looking to recruit members, this is a great way to meet parents at the school and to fundraise for the benefit of the children.  Last year we raised over £15K and with the money we have resurfaced the junior playground at St Andrews’ school and we are in the process of purchasing another mini bus lite.

If you are able to give any of your time to help on the committee please email Gina Ciuro at gciuro@rushmoorschool.co.uk

Kind regards

I M Daniel, BA (QTS), NPQH

Principal

Principal's Blog - Friday 28th September

Open Morning takes place across the Alliance tomorrow and we are looking forward to welcoming prospective families to show them our school community.  We also look forward to seeing the pupils tomorrow morning, in full uniform, to assist with the Open Morning, after all, our pupils are our greatest advertisement.  If any family member would like to take the opportunity to look around, please feel free to stay.

Fenwick House will be open for our pupils and their families.  I really encourage our pupils from both schools to use this opportunity to discuss with Mrs Beattie, Director of Sixth Form, and the subject teachers what the expectations are for Sixth Form life.  We are pleased with how our current year 12s have settled in over the past few weeks and are enjoying their subject choices, particularly the new Cambridge Technical Business option.  It really is important for year 11s to start thinking about their future, the A-level years rush by, so strong support and a sensible attitude to studying is very important.  Last weekend many of our first cohort of sixth formers went off to their chosen universities and I look forward to hearing about many more of our sixth form students doing the same over the years ahead.

On Friday 21 September, pupils from Rushmoor and St Andrew’s took part in the annual ‘Jeans for Genes’ Day.  Thank you to all those who took part and helped to raise a donation to the worthwhile charity. For those people who suffer with life-altering genetic disorders every penny raised makes a difference and helps to provide the support and vital care they require. 

We would like to say well done to Mrs Djukic, Mrs Ciuro, Mrs van der Sande, Mrs Stott, Mrs Heaney and many parents who took part in the Starlight Hike last weekend on a very cold and wet evening.  They are well on their way to raising their target of £500 in aid of Sue Ryder Hospice.  They walked in memory of a lovely lady, Sam Few-Wiegratz, who was an active member of the Alliance community for many years. Should you wish to make a donation in Sam’s memory, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nvdsstarlight

It has been quite a busy start of term with regard to charitable activities, with both school sites hosting coffee mornings in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support.  Thank you to everybody who contributed to this really worthy cause.  It is also great to see so many parents and grandparents socialising in the dining halls this morning.

Photography as a curriculum subject is increasingly popular and we have a number of students taking it for A-level in our Sixth Form.  Our photography club, which runs across the alliance, is also popular.  In order to provide the students with even more creative opportunities we are setting up dark rooms so they can learn how to develop images using proper film, instead of just digital photography.  I am sure that those keen photographers amongst us will enjoy experimenting with this new resource.

The year 5 pupils at St Andrew’s have, once again, taken part in the Bikeability cycle training course.  This course, delivered by Outspoken Training, has helped the girls to prepare for the challenges of cycling on roads, and has hopefully increased their confidence and awareness of other road users.  All the girls achieved their level 2 badge, a fantastic achievement.  By completing the course, the girls have learnt a range of different manoeuvres on the road, which they might encounter whilst cycling with friends and family.  Next week it is Rushmoor’s turn.  

Whilst staying safe on the road is vitally important, staying safe on line is equally important.  We have been promoting the ‘Stay Safe Online’ rules to our pupils, which will be ongoing throughout their school journeys.  Please help us by discussing the issues with your child at home to reinforce the valuable messages.

As part of our ongoing careers education in the Sixth Form, we have introduced Working Options Education.  This is a programme aimed at 16-19 year olds, developed by a Charity called the MKB Foundation. The aim is to engage, inspire and motivate Sixth Form students to realise their full potential, and also to consider employment opportunities in the hospitality and retail industries. This is achieved through speakers from Supply Chain Solutions Network, The Boston Consultancy Group and Bart Ingredients Ltd. They hold senior positions including Managing Director, Contract Manager and Chief Executive Officer respectfully.

In recent assemblies, I have been talking to the pupils across both schools about the frustrations we have been experiencing with the local planners in relation to the site at Woodlands Park.  On this subject, recently you received forms regarding the appeal, which I would ask you to return as soon as possible in order to help our hearing in November.  Thank you.

Thanks to Leon and Alex Brown and Poppy Ackroyd from St Andrew’s for speaking to parents recently about what the schools offer to support pupils in years 10 and 11 with their GCSE studies.

I have recently assessed a number of silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards, which have now been submitted for final approval.  As always, I would encourage the senior pupils to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award, or the Combined Cadet Forces, because each of them are great to put on CVs.  Universities and employers know that taking part in these things means commitment is required and stamina, which are great qualities to have.   I am delighted that Mrs Andrews is taking over the Bronze and Silver DofE at St Andrew’s, so please email aandrews@standrewsschoolbedford.com for further details.  Mr Morrish should be contacted at Rushmoor on dmorrish@rushmoorschool.co.uk.

Music News  

St Andrew’s are looking forward to another busy term of music. Choir rehearsals have started on Monday lunchtimes with songs from The Greatest Showman being performed as well as more classical works. The main performance will be at the Carol Service in December but there will also be an informal concert for students one lunchtime later in the term.  

It is great to see so many of the girls continuing singing lessons this term. I am delighted to welcome Elizabeth Bottone as the new singing teacher and look forward to seeing the results of her work. Mrs Bottone is a professional singer and music teacher. She trained at the Royal Academy in London and has sung across Europe in choirs and as a principal opera artist. She also examines internationally for the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music. A huge thank you must also go to singing teacher Karen England who worked so hard with the girls last year but is unable to be here this term.  

The number of students learning piano and violin has also increased this year and we are pleased to welcome back Clare Sugars and Rosamund Hoskins for the new school year.  In the next few weeks we will be taking on a flute teacher and there will be opportunities for students to take up private instrumental lessons on the flute. Please do contact Mrs Shackleton if your daughter is keen to do this (lshackleton@standrewsschoolbedford.com) and she will provide more information.

There is an after school Music Club every Monday for girls from years 7-9 and anyone can attend.  There is absolutely no requirement for pupils to have played an instrument before.  Please encourage your daughters to take up this opportunity.  

Sports News: 

Rushmoor

Gold Sports Award Achieved: At the end of last year the PE department received the fantastic news that the school had achieved the Gold Sports Mark Award. The award is rewarded as a result of both the curriculum teaching and extra-curricular offering that students at the school received over the previous academic year. The challenge now is to retain our status which we hope to do through further development of both the curriculum, extra-curricular and particularly the new house system.  

Year 6 played their first competitive rugby fixture against Bedford Modern School. Due to the ground still being hard, the game was played as touch rugby rules. Both the A and B squads played some exciting rugby and scored some very good tries. This was a great opportunity for the boys to demonstrate some excellent handling and teamwork in different conditioned games. We look forward to our next fixture with more contact involved.  

Rushmoor’s year 8 rugby team played their second league tri-fixture last week. The boys produced some of their best rugby yet to comprehensively win both matches. Rushmoor showed how the game should be played, demonstrating great handling, effortlessly moving the ball away from contact and some great resilience in defence to keep a clean sheet. Well done to the whole squad on a fantastic outing!  

The year 11's started the year with a fantastic win in an entertaining game at Pitsford.  Rushmoor dominated possession and territory but some excellent last ditch defence kept the score at 0-0 for the majority of the first half.  Edward Findley finally broke the deadlock with a well taken try before Jack Sharp added to the scoring.  In the second half the team soaked up a lot of pressure before HP McCardie and Sam Gale tries stretched their lead.  The game finished on a high with sublime footwork and offload from Oscar Smith to set up Luke Holland for a try to make the final score 34-22.  MoM- Elias Osei-Kissi  

The year 9 team travelled to Lincroft this week for a triangular fixture with Mark Rutherford. Playing Mark Rutherford first the team started well with Jacob Wells storming through for the opening score.  Rushmoor continued to dominate the play but a number of chances didn't go to hand leaving the final score 15-5.  Next up they played a well drilled Lincroft team, the game was very close with Jacob Wells and DJ Agbenu giving us the lead with minutes to go.  Unfortunately, Lincroft scored late via a well worked move leaving the final score 3-2 to Lincroft.  It was an excellent effort from a completely new Year 9 team playing their first 15-a-side fixture.  MoM- DJ Agbenu    

The U9 won their first rugby fixture of the season very convincingly against Broughton Manor on Friday. The boys have the potential to have a great season.  MoM- Tom Ulvert    

The year 10 rugby team travelled to Lincroft for the first game of the season this week. Rushmoor started well and dominated possession but simply couldn't break the Lincroft defence down in the final third. Two tries against the run of play meant Lincroft led 10-0 at the break. The second half started with Lincroft enjoying more possession and as a result scored three quick tries. Rushmoor showed great tenacity and effort to pull themselves back into the game when Oscar Smith finished off a well worked try. All in all it was a hugely positive run out ahead of key games against Quinton House and Pitsford in the coming weeks.  MoM- Jake Smith

The swimming squad had its second session this year with the introduction of more and younger swimmers into the squad. We are happy to see how this squad gets more and more successful each year and we hope to see as many good results as we did last season.

A mixed alliance team took part in the district cycling competition yesterday. All those who participated did our schools proud and enjoyed the fantastic event.

Good luck to our Year 6 rugby team who are playing away at Bedford School today.  

St Andrews:

On Thursday 20 September two year 5/6 netball teams played against Goldington.  They were hard and competitive games for both teams.  The girls showed great determination and with more practice their results will improve. Player of the match went to Lillie Morris.  

On Wednesday 26 September St Andrew’s took part in a Dodgeball competition at the Bunyan Centre.  The girls got through to the quarter finals from 24 teams, which was a fantastic achievement.  Very well done to all who took part.  

On Thursday 27 September years 5/6 had a netball match against Turvey primary school. This was their third match and skills, drills and teamwork were beginning to gel.  They played really well and, once again, parents acted as exceptional spectators. The sun was shining and the girls played in a variety of positions, working really well together.  They scored in every quarter and  finished with a whopping 17-0 lead.  This was just what the girls needed to boost their confidence. Player of the match, chosen by Turvey, was Cerys Holley. Very well done to all who played.

Junior School News:

At Rushmoor Forest School the children made a bug hotel!  The children worked fantastically together as a team to build and create 'Bug-ingham Palace' which lives in the Sixth Form Garden area. We hope the local wildlife will take to our hotel and no doubt it will be fully booked soon! Thank you very much to all the children, parents/guardians and staff who brought in materials for us to use. We look forward to the next creation!

Junior School Stars: Rushmoor School w/c 17th September 2018    

Reception – Henry Kotecha

1TS – Nyah Wooding

2KGL – Sebastian Rooke

3JM – Errol Bogacki and Gurshaan Kulla

3ST – Qais Ghazzawi

4EB – Charlie Chamberlain

4ET – Matthew Eaden

5CR – Ali Ghazzawi

5RS – Blaine Kelly

St Andrew’s School w/c 17th September 2018    

Reception – William Woodrow

Year 1 – Phoebe Watkin

Year 2 – Arthur Mullaney

Years 3/4 – Ruby Elliott-Willey

Year 5 – Elizabeth Seddon

Year 6 – Stephanie Smith

Rushmoor School w/c 24th September 2018    

Reception –Rahaf Adam

1TS – Charlie Benson

2KGL – Elle Nyoni

3JM – Ophelia Manser

3ST – Harry Clayton

4EB – Basil Anstee

4ET – Alex Timpau-Rat

5CR – Eros Di Pace

5RS – Oscar O’Connor

St Andrew’s School w/c 24th September 2018    

Reception – Scarlett Rook

Year 1 – Vedh Muralidharan

Year 2 – Isabella Diffey

Years 3/4 – Bronwyn Phillips

Year 5 – Matilda Aston

Year 6 – Imogen Taylor

EYFS News:

St Andrew’s Nursery children have been having a fantastic time continuing to develop their outdoor play in line with the forest school approach. They have been learning to find everyday natural objects and use them to create games and learning opportunities. The children took an interest in the leaves on our big tree so the practitioners helped them to thread leaves to hang from the fence, this idea then developed into making fairy crowns using the same materials.  

The new Owls group have been on their first visit to Charter House to meet the residents and play a game of hoop and beanbag. The children were wonderfully behaved and engaged with the residents to have a genuinely fun time together.  

The baby unit undercover area is near completion and I would like to thank all the staff involved in improving this valuable area. The toddler outdoor area is now also beginning to undergo change: it has been wood chipped and the plan is to offer a simplified version of forest school learning.....keep your eyes peeled for the photographs in my next blog!    

Please remember that all pre-school parents are invited to the next stay and play session on Saturday 29 September from 10.00am-noon. The nursery staff look forward to seeing you.  There will be a whole nursery session in the near future.

Rushmoor:  

In Rushmoor Robins the children have been learning about shapes this week. The children have been exploring the different shapes in the environment. The children enjoyed being shape detectives and finding shapes around the school. In Reception the children explored creating different shapes during Busy Fingers.

Principal’s Awards:

Well done to Georgia Barnes-Quinn in year 8 due to her hard work and commitment since the start of term.

Grace Langridge in year 6 for going out of her way to be kind and helpful to younger pupils.  

Madeleine Corley and Isabella Whitford in year 8 for the great start they have made to the year in Mathematics.  

Toluwa Alade in year 7 for her commitment and positive attitude to cross-country club.  

Toluwa Alade, Chloe Marcos and Olivia Patel in year 7 for their great portrayal of the poem “In the Polar Regions”.

Personal Pursuits:

Grace Langridge in year 6 at St Andrew’s continues her success with ice skating.  On Tuesday she competed in the Skate Southern competition at Lee Valley in London.  This was her first level 2 competition and she achieved a personal best of 19.26, came 5th, and qualified to compete at level 3 already.  Grace’s dress was designed by her uncle and she danced to Soul Man by Sam and Dave.

Well done to Curtis Fisher for winning his first medal at the Milton Keynes Regatta last weekend in the Junior 16 Single Scull.  Excellent news Curtis.

Congratulations to Malique Roach in Year 9 who he has been chosen for the next selection stage for the Under 14 county schools football squad for the upcoming season. Well done to Henry Sayer for being a sporting star, selected for the County hockey team and also doing well with yachting.

Well done to Charlie Klein who has been busy learning kayaking skills this summer, which culminated at the weekend in a slalom competition. He came top in his division gaining enough points to move into the next division.  Excellent news Charlie.  Charlie has taken up kayaking as part of his Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award.  Not only does it look great fun, it has been a great way to meet new friends at Viking Kayaking Club. 

Congratulations to Oliver Codrington for taking part in the Warrior Adrenaline 10km race, raising over £350 for CHUMS.  What a fantastic effort Oliver!

Luke Maberly won the U11's bowling award for his cricket team, Blunham, this weekend.  I was told he was surprised to win the award as he was up against a number of boys, but Luke should believe in himself and his ability.  We are very proud of you Luke!  

A reminder to Rushmoor parents regarding parking near school.  Please can all parents be considerate to residents and pedestrians when parking in Cowper Road or Byron Crescent when dropping off or collecting your children.  We have had reports of parking on double yellow lines, up on kerbs and not purchasing tickets if necessary.  We need to ensure that everyone parks safely and not causing any danger to others.

Please remember to follow both schools on social media:

Instagram: rushmoor_standrews

Twitter: @StAndrewsBeds and @RushmoorSchool

Facebook: @standrewsschoolbedford and @RushmoorSchool

Kind regards

I M Daniel, BA (QTS), NPQH

Principal  

Principal's Blog - Friday 14 September

Welcome to my first blog of the new academic year.  Firstly, I would like to thank all the families and staff who attended the Alliance Barbecue on Friday 7 September.  It was a delightful way to start the year.

The pupils seem settled into the routines of their new classes and I am pleased that they have taken up the opportunities of the extra-curricular clubs offered throughout the alliance, everything from horse riding and skydiving to gymnastics, drama club, scrabble club and table top games club.  Sporting clubs and fixtures are already underway.

A quick update in relation to the ongoing battle with Bedford planners regarding approval to build on our Clapham site. Throughout the summer, we have been in constant communication with our barrister and everything is in place for our appeal, so we hope to have some positive news shortly if common sense prevails.  It would be incredibly helpful if you were able to offer your personal support to our new school by completing the attached letter, including your address and signature.  Please feel free to amend this letter in any way you wish or if you would like to add any other points, please do so.  We would like as many parents, grandparents, neighbours and local residents to offer their support to this so please feel free to forward to others as you wish.  So many times parents have asked us what they can do to support our plans …this is now the time you can help.  Please could I ask for all responses to come back to the schools as soon as possible, but at the very latest by Wednesday, 31 October 2018.  We look forward to receiving your responses shortly.

Thank you to everybody who has come along to the curriculum information evenings.  Feedback suggests they are helpful to you in order to understand what topics your child will be covering this year. 

It was good to see year 9 pupils and parents at the Duke of Edinburgh information evening on Tuesday and we hope this is an indication that a good number of them will take part in this worthwhile and rewarding Award.

At Rushmoor and St Andrew’s, the senior school transition evenings were also helpful and gave parents a good understanding of what is expected of our senior pupils, with discussion taking place about recent GCSE and A-level successes to encourage them to think about their future options. Poppy Ackroyd, the Academic Prefect at St Andrew’s spoke extremely well in front of parents and pupils.

There was also a meeting for the Alliance geography field trip to Sicily, which I am sure the pupils are looking forward to and will be a fantastic way to reinforce what they are learning in the classroom. 

You may have seen last weekend that I sent out a letter about our ski trip in December.  We have a few spaces available because some people are now unable to attend.  Pupils from year 4 can attend unaccompanied, or pupils from year 3 can attend with an adult family member.  It really is a great trip, with doorstep skiing, good food and entertainment and a great way for the children and adults to socialise. Please contact the school office for full details.

A quick reminder that uniform and personal belongings need to be clearly named as this helps us to return lost property quickly. 

The virtual learning environment accessed through the schools’ websites provides parents with information about homework tasks and we would encourage you to have a look at it.  Please contact the office if you do not have the necessary access codes.

As I said in my welcome letter sent to you all on the first day back, we will not be having Newsletters in future because the blogs are published instead.  However, I would encourage you to follow us on social media platforms as we do regularly publish updates using FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram.

We have a wonderful PTFA which is superbly co-ordinated by Gina Ciuro based at the Rushmoor site.  If you would like to be involved in the PTFA, please contact Gina.  We are happy for any type of support. 

We value the views of parents and invite you to attend the Parent Council Meetings that take place throughout the year.  The next meeting will be on Thursday 11 October at St Andrew’s and on Thursday 18 October at Rushmoor.  Please contact Mrs Abruzzese or Mrs Heaney if you would like to attend. 

Our friendly office staff across both sites are happy to help you with any queries, so please feel free to call or drop in to the reception.  They can take messages for the teaching staff or you can contact teachers using their email addresses, found on the school websites.

We are pleased to welcome Marina Sanderson who will be working as the school counsellor across the alliance, supporting our pupils with any concerns they may have.  Obviously, if you feel her services may be of benefit to your child, please feel free to contact Mrs Barnes, Mrs Djukic or Mrs Stott.

We are extending our curriculum this year in terms of careers advice, so careers lessons will be held throughout years 6 to 13.  We want to prepare our pupils well for life beyond their school years, and will teach them about expectations in the workplace, how to create their own curriculum vitae, what to do in interview situations, how businesses operate in terms of ethics, etc.  We hope this will prepare them well for their future.  We have introduced the Cambridge Technicals in Business for our year 12 students, which is equivalent to 3 A-levels and split 60% coursework, 40% examinations.  This is an exciting addition to our sixth form curriculum and will be taught by Mrs Morris who comes to us from Bedford Sixth Form.

We are pleased to say that new members of the Rushmoor and St Andrew’s communities, both staff and students, have made fantastic first impressions and already seem well settled and part of life at each school.  At St Andrew’s Miss Ralph has made an enthusiastic and committed addition to the PE staff and it was good to see her supporting the teams this week.  Mrs Turner has settled into the art department with style and girls are enjoying the working environment she has created.  Miss Lambert has made a seamless transition from Rushmoor and we value her cheerful and experienced presence in Reception.  Dr Blackie is a valuable addition to both Rushmoor and St Andrew’s and we look forward to her experience and guidance supporting the girls and boys further.   

At Rushmoor Miss Bamber, Miss Croft and Mr Fryer have made a positive impact on the English and humanities department.  Mrs Morris is a great addition to the Sixth Form staff with teaching the new subject, Cambridge Technicals in Business.  Our Year 2 parents met Miss Glennon earlier this week at the curriculum meeting and she is already very popular with the pupils.  Miss Collins has also joined our team of Learning Support Assistants working with our junior pupils and has formed a fantastic rapport with them all already.

Sadly, we have one member of the Rushmoor School team leaving us today.  Jamie Stevenson has been working as a learning support assistant for the past year, but is now moving on to work for the RSPB Charity at their headquarters in Sandy. There he will make good use of his degree in animal sciences, an area that he enjoys.  Jamie has been a great support to many of our pupils, helping them in class and doing a good job of assisting with GCSE revision too.  He got fully involved in school life by attending the trips to the Frontier Centre and Wales last term.  Not only has Jamie worked for Rushmoor, he was a former pupil here too, so I wish him the very best for the future and thank him for his hard work. I am sure he will stay in touch with his colleagues here.

EYFS News  

St Andrew’s Nursery have had a very busy summer, as the pre-school children have returned to their new refurbished rooms. The aim was to make the rooms reflect natural colours and naturally flow to the outdoor area.  

I would like to congratulate Ms Dempsey on completing her forest school training; Ms Dempsey is passionate about learning through the outdoor provision and once the children have settled into pre-school, she will be opening up forest sessions for parents to attend and will publish dates in the near future.  

The undercover area used by the baby unit has been refurbished and the babies now enjoy a soft, grassed area which is also awaiting the finishing touches of a giant sandpit and natural mobiles.  We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Mr Giles Perry, a parent of three girls in Junior School, who donated the grass for our babies to enjoy.  

During the summer, we have also said goodbye to our oldest children who moved on to other schools. It is always a difficult time as we grow attached to our families, but we know that each and every child has headed towards school with confidence and independence and we look forward to the occasional visit from them in their new uniforms!  

We look forward to sharing with you all the great adventures that our children will have over the forthcoming blogs and we welcome you back to a new term. Our next parent stay and play session will be held on Saturday 29 September from 10.00am-12.00. We look forward to seeing you all there.  

Rushmoor Robins welcome back pupils after the summer break.  Pupils in Reception Class have settled in quickly and enjoyed their first swimming lesson on Wednesday.  As expected all children were happy their weekly yoga sessions started again.  I will keep you updated on the Rushmoor EYFS activities in future blogs.

Sports News

There was an excellent turnout for the first cross-country club at St Andrew’s on Tuesday.  Well done to Lillie Morris and Mia Gross who were the only girls from Junior School.  The club runs every Tuesday, 4.00-5.00, and is now open from year 3 upwards.

All sports clubs are now up and running, and the PE staff would like to encourage more year 9, 10 and 11 girls to attend netball practice after school on Tuesdays, and year 3/4 pupils to turn up for hockey practice after school on Wednesdays.  The Gymnastics club has proved very popular this term and has a waiting list.

St Andrew’s have their first year 5/6 netball match of the season today at Oakley Primary. Good luck girls.

Extra-curricular PE clubs also began at Rushmoor this week.  Excellent numbers attended the majority of clubs including rugby, dodgeball, basketball and x-country.  Lunchtime clubs were particularly popular with high numbers of junior school students taking up the opportunity to get some more exercise in the day.  We would still like to encourage more students to after school gymnastics club and Friday morning dodgeball.

Year 8s played their first rugby fixture of the new season against a very strong Lincroft side.  After a slow start, the boys really started to test the Lincroft defence and played some exciting rugby, ultimately winning the final third 2 tries to 1.  A very well done to the whole squad.  Some special mentions go to Luke Wilson and Charlie Maudlin for some excellent tackling and running with the ball, Shea O’Donnell for his first Rushmoor fixture and Will Stuart for his last minute try saving tackle.

Some pupils in Year 2 have begun their tag rugby training this term.  They enjoyed their first session and I look forward to see them progress throughout the term.

The Cross Country Team from Year 5-8 will be taking part in a fixture at Browns Wood in Clapham today.  We wish them luck!

Junior School News

It is great to see that Rushmoor Junior pupils have started this academic year with a positive attitude towards learning.  They have settled in well into their new classrooms and are already rehearsing for the Harvest Festival assembly which is being held on Tuesday 2 October.

Principal’s Awards:

Natasha Edwards in year 9 for her positive attitude since returning to school this term.

Tabitha Crocker in year 10 for going out of her way to help the year 7 pupils settle into Senior School, and for her excellent achievement in Science.

Poppy Ackroyd in year 11 for her role as Academic Prefect and addressing the year 9 parents at Senior Transition Evening.

Tamsin Mansell in year 11 for helping to run the touch typing course on Thursdays.  

Junior School Stars: Rushmoor School

Reception – Harvey Reynolds 1TS 

Tom Marshall 2KGL 

Ethan Kenna 3JM – Tanishk Barve 3ST 

Sebastian Raddan and Noah Wetherell 4EB 

Archie Fisher 4ET 

Callum Scobie 5CR – Oliver Millard and Oliver Weir 5RS – Noah Etti

St Andrew’s School

Reception – Oliver Barber

Year 1 Sophie Retout

Year 2 – Grace Perry

Years 3/4 - Scarlett Barber, Carmen Forton, Helen Weston, Charlotte Allen, Elsie Francis, Shenay Muirhead-Stewart, Hannah Woodruff

Year 5 – Kimora Darragh and Sophie Weston

Year 6 – Isabelle Burt, Poppy Corner and Lillie King Running Free! 

Thank you to Mrs Colbert for providing this picture of the chicks that hatched at Rushmoor last year, now grown and enjoying their free-range life at the Hutcheon family farm.

Well done to Heath Clarke who played cricket over the school holidays and represented Bedfordshire at Knebworth, Dunstable and Braintree in Essex.  Heath captained the County for one of these games, which they won.  Excellent effort Heath.  Heath also represented Bedford in the side that won the final of the County Cup against Luton and Indians on Bank Holiday Monday.

I was very pleased to hear that Seb Hendrix decided to join Olney Rugby Club and is thoroughly enjoying it.  He has had a lot of good fitness training, which is great. Seb was awarded the Player of the Week, so his hard work and determination paid off.  Fantastic effort Seb and I look forward to hearing more about your rugby triumphs.

I would also like to congratulate Tom Ulvert who was part of team GB competing in the World Championships for his martial art - Tang Soo Do - at the Copper Box arena at the Olympic Park in London in August.  With over 20 countries taking part, Tom won 2 golds which makes him a double world champion at 8 years old!  We are all very proud of you Tom, well done!  

We are proud of our pupils in many different ways; most recently, I have been extremely pleased to see the social media frenzy surrounding Ellie Chick’s post.  Ellie joined St Andrew’s School with specific learning needs and flourished here as a valued member of the school community. 

Ellie is a fabulous gymnast and wants to work in this field.  Ellie and all her teachers were pleased when she sat her GCSEs last summer, something that Ellie openly admits she found challenging.  Ellie achieved grades at 1-3, which was an accomplishment for her and she is proud of her efforts.  However, in the current system, Ellie feels disappointed with the government’s stance and the fact that she has struggled to access a suitable course.  Ellie’s campaign was picked up by Look East news and South Today, as well as The Times Educational Supplement, Schools Week and the Times and Citizen.

I believe that Ellie’s message resonates with many young people around our country and I commend her for being honest about her feelings.  Ellie is most certainly kind, polite, unique, helpful, funny and caring, as her post describes.  All wonderful qualities which will help her succeed. 

Click the link below to watch one of Ellie’s interviews.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RiKD1X5aatg&feature=youtu.be

Congratulations to Giorgia Mitridate who gained a distinction in her Grade 4 LAMDA Solo Acting, which she undertakes in her own time.

Congratulations also to Caroline Demuth who took part in the Junior National Outdoor Archery Championships during the summer. On the first day she competed in the under 16 category of the Bristol 3 Shoot and came second, even though she was an age category up.  On the second day Caroline competed in the under 14 category of the Metric 4 and again came second.  During the Championships, Caroline broke six county records which are waiting to be verified.  An amazing achievement, well done Caroline.  

I would like to say how proud we are of Thomas Tredray and Elliott FitzPatrick who both gave up some of their holiday time to volunteer for the Mencap Playscheme in Bedford.  What a fabulous thing to do and a great learning experience for them.  Well done boys.

Kind regards

I M Daniel, BA (QTS), NPQH

Principal