I hope you have all had a good week. This week our Year 11 students have been finishing off their first set of mock examinations, and it has been excellent to see how focused they have been throughout this period. Due to the disruption from COVID some of our older years have not had much exam experience in the halls, so this experience is invaluable as they prepare for their exams this summer. On Thursday evening it was lovely to welcome families and students to our Post 16 open evening, we are really pleased with how successful our Post 16 is, and we look forward to lots of Year 11 students signing up.
Next Friday 19th November it is Children in Need and our student year councils have decided they would like to raise money by having a non-uniform day. Students are asked to pay a £1 for wearing non-uniform. Each year group will also be organising a range of activities during break and lunchtime.
Today, I have also written a letter with news that we will be extending the time that we are implementing additional COVID precautions. Our current precautions, which include no mass gatherings, the wearing of face coverings and no morning welcome will continue to run until the end of November. The amount of COVID cases in the school has reduced from almost 100 before half-term to around 21 today, we therefore want to ensure cases remain as low as possible.
As always, I hope you are able to enjoy a relaxing weekend.
The DofE is all about going the extra mile – gaining new skills, pushing yourself physically, helping others and exploring new territories. At the same time, you’ll gather friendships, experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.
STEM Club this week... the students made indicators out of red cabbage! Now they are waiting to test their creations using acids and alkalis next week.... what colour will they turn?
Sunday 7th November saw our first Ten Tors training hike for nearly 18 months, and it was an absolutely glorious autumnal day for it.
45 eager participants set off from John of Gaunt at 8am on Sunday morning, aiming to complete an 18-mile circuit via Westbury White Horse. The morning sun took the edge of the icy air as we motored through the fields and footpaths towards Westbury, startling a couple of roe deer and being surrounded by the chattering winter flocks of redwings. The pace was electric (averaging 3.7 kmh over entire day including stops!) and our 2 experienced navigators (George Berrelly and Abi Davies) didn't put a foot wrong as we wound our way up to the White Horse. Gliders whirled above our heads and a couple of hang gliders took to the skies right next to our group causing quite a stir. The students seemed to thoroughly enjoy being out in our local Wiltshire countryside, and we delivered 43 tired, blistered but happy students back to school for a nice early finish.
Well done to all that took part - I thoroughly enjoyed the walk, and a huge thank you (as always) to volunteer Iain Richards and also other supporting staff Mr Lord, Ms Cornick and Mrs Brooks.
On Thursday the Year 10 Netball team played at home against three other schools, St Augustines, Clarendon and Melksham Oaks. The girls played the best netball to date! They worked well as a team and were a credit to the school. They beat Melksham Oaks 9-1, and although lost to St Augustines (3-1) and Clarendon (5-1) they played a great game in both matches.
The Player of the matches went to Chloe, Megan and Alice. Players player went to Rhiannon.
Children In Need - 19th November
Next Friday the school will mark BBC Children In Need day through a non-school uniform. We are inviting parents to make a donation of £1 through ParentPay. If you'd rather do this in cash, students can hand in coins at reception.
On top of this, each Year Council will be running events. Each Council is advertising their activities in school and the donations for each activity.
Year 7 are running a guess the number of sweets in the jar quiz and a "Dress your Tutor" cat walk.
From Monday 15th November, in aid of Children in Need, the Year 8 team will be running a 'Guess the number of Sweets in a jar event'. Students will have an opportunity to view the Jar during tutor time and make a guess for the price of 50p per go.
The event will run all week and on Monday 22nd November we will announce the winner with the most accurate guess, and they get to take the Jar home at the end of the day.
Please remember to bring you loose change to participate and make Children in Need a success.
Year 9 and Year 11 are also having a guess the number of sweets in the jar quiz!
Year 10 are running two charity events to raise money for Children in Need. The first event will be held on Friday breaktime in Gloucester Foyer where pupils will be able to go against each other in rounds of “Sweet Pong”. This will be £1 a match. The more sweets you get in, the more you get to eat! The second event will be a charity netball match where pupils can go against our fantastic Year 10 netball team. Challenge them if you dare…It’s all for a great cause, so come along for your chance to win!
Years 12 and 13 are having a sponge the member of staff event.
We look forward to having a lot of fun for a very good cause. Thank you for your support.
We wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate Nafisa Tahsin in year 12, who has completed 50 hours of volunteering work in the local community since the beginning of September. Nafisa has been volunteering at The British Heart foundation shop in Trowbridge, with various tasks such as restocking items and serving members of the general public. This is a fantastic achievement and I know that Nafisa has talked about how the volunteering has really helped her grow in confidence communicating to people she does not know. In addition, Nafisa has developed skills in resilience, problem-solving and time management, as she has needed to keep up with the high demands of 6th form study. Well done Nafisa!
Supporting your child to keep safe online
We hope to support parents and carers in keeping children safe when using technology including phones and other internet connect devices. Over the coming weeks and months, I will be sharing information and support services that may help you to support your child in keeping safe.
The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) tells us that 'since the start of the pandemic, the amount of ‘self-generated’ child abuse imagery has increased dramatically. In 2020, the IWF confirmed 68,000 cases of such imagery, a rise of 77% on the year before. It accounts for nearly half (44%) the imagery we took action on last year. In 80% of these cases, the victims were 11- to 13-year-old girls.'
The IWF has created a resource to help parents and carers understand the risks of 'self-generated child sexual abuse imagery' using the acronym 'TALK'.
Is your child in Years 10-13? Then join us on 24th November(6.30pm - 7.10pm) for our FREE parents’ insight webinar in partnership with IBM, to find out about the varied school-leaver opportunities IBM can offer your child.
Hear directly from IBM early careers managers on school-leaver opportunities including apprenticeships, degree apprenticeships and gap year roles.
Hear from current apprentices on their journey at IBM so far.
PLUS a Q and A session, giving you an opportunity to ask any questions.