Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends

There is so much of which we are very proud this week; where to start…………..?

At the weekend, our Year 9 mock magistrates students all made their way to The Royal Courts of Justice for the national finals. This imposing building was a “once in a lifetime” venue for the 16 finalist schools to battle it out. Our students performed incredibly well, winning both of their rounds, holding their own prosecuting and defending their cases against very strong competition. Whilst we didn’t win, (we came fourth), it was a great achievement to have got down to the final 16 schools from over 300 that entered and over 4,000 students. A massive well done girls!

Here is our fabulous team and their teachers…..

I would like to say a huge thank you to Miss Harris and Miss Roberts for all their hard work and coaching throughout this year’s competition. This was their first year leading this event and they did incredibly well! Thank you. Thanks also to David Pinnell, and Jeremy Best our magistrate advisors who have given up so much time to come along and help coach the team along the way.

We may not have won the main event, but one of our students did win one of the other main competitions. We were thrilled for Megan Beavis, who won the competition for the best court artist and was presented with a trophy at the awards ceremony. Well done Megan!

Last week, the chemistry department celebrated the 150th year of the periodic table with a week of impressive and explosive assemblies along with  a speaker on Wednesday and a special lunch time “Pretty, Pretty, Bang, Bang show” on Friday.

The assemblies, led by the science prefects, Mrs Phillips and Mrs Rooms were highly entertaining, with live experiments using helium, oxygen and hydrogen. Luckily, the experiments all worked and led to several gasps from the audience, with some students even jumping with surprise!

On Wednesday lunchtime, Professor Wayne Hayes from Reading university came in to talk to our students about polymers and in particular self-healing ones which hopefully could be used in the medical and infrastructure fields of science, for example, if there is scratch on your car – it will self-repair! Sounds good to me! The talk was very well received, as was the department’s “Pretty, Pretty, Bang, Bang show” on Friday lunchtime. This was really enthralling, and involved gases, dry ice, colour changing magic and fire……..all from behind a safety screen of course!

Thankyou Mrs Nayyar, Mrs Phillips, Mrs Rooms, Miss Kostaki and Miss Jongkind for anexcellent week.

Mrs Kennedy and I got to admire the students GCSE artwork that was on display in the art department last week. This was ready for the moderator to come in and verify the grading. The standard was very high as usual, and Mrs Skeates, Head of Art said the visit had gone well, so fingers crossed now and good luck for the A level moderation this week.

The Year 11s were very excited on Friday getting their leavers’ certificate forms signed and chatting about their plans to celebrate the end of GCSEs (for most) over the weekend. It was lovely talking to them and asking how they have managed the last few weeks. One student really made me smile. She said something along the lines, “I revised really hard and then I found that quite a lot of what I revised was in the exams”. It reminded me of the quote by Samuel Goldwyn “The harder I work, the luckier I get”, but also can remind us all that exams are marathons, not sprints. You have to get used to “working out” for them; regular revision and regular testing and feedback goes a long way to build up “exam muscle” and help manage the worries at this time of year. I have to say that this year’s Year 11 have been very much “match fit”; upbeat for registration, keen to talk about how an exam went, and stoic in the event of that dreaded “evil question” or tough paper. A really impressive year group!

On to this week, it should be a quieter week in school now the Year 11 have all finished their GCSEs, the A levels are almost over, and Year 10 are also out on Work Experience.

I say should be, but of course, we are now in House event season and this week we have whole host of events that we look forward to sharing with you next week.

Lastly, tonight, at 7pm we have our KS3 solos concert. It promises to be a lovely evening, so please do come along and enjoy the music and song from our talented younger year groups.

Katie Pearce