Principal's Blog

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

View previous blog posts by clicking the titles below

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