Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends

A levels exams started on Monday – good luck to Year 13! Year 11 will have sat more than ten exams by the time you read this. They have been very upbeat with their exams and seem to enjoy their freedom to leave the site in between exams……many treating themselves to bubble-gum flavour Slush Puppies from the Coop…blissfully unaware of their blue lips and tongues! Good luck for this week! Year 10 can relax after their exams, culminating in their POR GCSE on Monday. The best bit of the exams is the well-deserved rest afterwards!

Congratulations to our Year 9 Bar Mock Trial team….they were up against tough competition on Saturday at Reading Crown Court……they prepared and performed brilliantly and got through to the national finals in the Royal Courts of Justice on 15th June. Thank you to all the parents who came along to support….it was quite something for them to see their daughters perform in a courtroom whether they were the defence, the prosecution, the witnesses being cross-examined, the defendant, the victim, the magistrates, the court artist or the court reporter. Well done to all. Thank you to Miss Harris and Miss Roberts for coaching the team! Finally, if you are a barrister and can give up a couple of hours between now and 15th June – the team would be very happy to receive some top tips and feedback in preparation for the final – please contact the school and ask for Miss Roberts or Miss Harris. Thank you!

Miss Kostaki accompanied four Year 7 students to Reading University to take part in the Salters competition. They were set two chemistry challenges. During the morning the teams took part in a competitive, hands-on, practical activity, “The Salters’ Challenge” – “Trouble at the Salt Mine!” where they used their analytical chemistry skills. In the afternoon, they competed in the ‘University Challenge’, a practical activity chosen by the University, in which they were required to identify the composition of a material of mysterious extra-terrestrial origin. Our girls came 3rd – well done! We hope the girls were inspired to explore the subject further – we need chemists!

Miss Cardy, Miss Flintham and Miss Shephard took the year 7, 8, 9 and 10 athletics team to Palmer Park Stadium on Friday. The girls competed in their own individual events, including long jump, javelin, 100m, hurdles and the 1500m. We had outstanding performances from Amelia (Year 7) who won her 600m, Tomi(Year 7) won her 75m hurdles and 100m sprint, Fatou (Year 10) won her 200m, Lucy (Year 10) won shot put, Naomi (year 8) won Javelin, Sophia (Year 8) won her 1500m, Beth (Year 9) won her 100m and Lottie (Year 7) won long jump, to name a few. Between 7-8 schools attended and the results were Year 7 came 1st , Year 8 came 1st , Year 9 came 2nd and Year 10 came 2nd. All the athletes demonstrated outstanding effort – well done!

Athletes, chemists and lawyers….we also have girls giving computing a go! Year 9 were set a computing House Competition; their task was to research how computing and technology have changed over the years and the various milestones in computing which enabled the growth happen.

The results are as follows: First place: 9S, Second place: 9H and Third place: 9L. Thanks to Mrs Bernadotte for organising and of course to all the students who took part.

Mrs Pearce and I have been meeting with Heads of Departments and Heads of Year to discuss the annual think piece in preparation for our improvement planning next half term. This year we discussed in small groups how we feed our passion for the subjects we teach, how we sequence topics and how we encourage our girls to be creative in their thinking in all disciplines. The overwhelming response to the latter is to encourage lots of independence, curiosity and questioning…giving it a go and not worrying if they get it wrong. One of the best things about teaching is having students initiate and engage in spontaneous and enthusiastic dialogue about the subject in the classroom and at other times have them completely silent as they get stuck into a solving a problem, writing an argument or essay or designing something!

I hope you have a good half term next week.

Anne Kennedy

Co Headteacher