Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends

It is summer solstice on 20th June, the longest day of the year but hopefully not the peak of the summer sunshine.  The blue sky and warmer weather this week have been lovely, however I am not yet confident to pack away my winter wardrobe!

In contrast, last week Year 10 Art students enjoyed an unseasonably cold trip the Kew gardens this week. Luckily the weather remained dry, and the students made the most of the time exploring the gardens and glasshouses, taking photos ready for their GCSE coursework. They were treated to The Titan – a flower that only blooms once every 10 years. It hadn’t quite opened thankfully, as it is known for its horrible smell. Leading contemporary artist Marc Quinn had several stainless steel and bronze sculptures exhibited in the grounds which created a beautiful contrast between the natural and man-made forms. It was a very inspiring trip for everyone involved.

On Wednesday 12th June, the science department took fifty Year 10 students to Oxford for a whirlwind tour of the city.  Mrs Morgan shared the following report:

Our first stop was at the Natural History Museum where our students had a talk on evolution and had a chance to get close to the exhibits, most of which were stuffed but a few were very much alive – well done to all those brave enough to handle a hissing cockroach! 

Our next stop was the Botanic Garden via lots of famous landmarks that make up the university including the Bodleian Library and Bridge of Sighs. The Botanic Garden yielded many beautiful and interesting sights too – amazing waterlilies and pitcher plants that attract insects (to their demise). The students went on a trail around the glasshouses identifying features of Mediterranean plants and plants that provide inspiration for products that humans make.

Our final stop was to Christ Church, one of the largest colleges in the city founded by Cardinal Wolsey, where we were led on a tour with present undergraduates followed by an ice cream on Christ Church Meadow. 

Finally in our round up of Key Stage Four adventures, our Year 10 geographers were at Hurst Castle Spit yesterday, the second group are there today.  Students had fantastic weather to complete their compulsory fieldwork.  Students carried out a range of data collection techniques on the spit and made the most of a day at the seaside!

Year 10 will be out on work experience during activities’ week, so it has been great to see so many students participating in learning opportunities outside the classroom.

Year 6 transition is underway, last week we welcomed students from the smaller feeder primary schools for an additional visit ahead of the main school transition day.  Many of these students do not know anyone else attending from their primary school so we facilitate the opportunity for them to meet their new head of year and other students who are in the same position.  The rest of the cohort will have already met directly with Miss Izod in their current setting.  The Year 7 students were supported by our Year 10 peer mentors; they did a fabulous job putting the students at ease and facilitating conversation between the Year 6 students.

Following this event many Year 6 parents attended the uniform sale held in the sixth form centre.  There were lots of very excited Year 6 students trying on their blazers for the very first time.

Tomorrow our ‘Sports Personality of the Year’ evening takes place.  The evening is always a very glamourous event with talented performers alongside the awards to recognise the hard work, passion and dedication it takes to excel in a sport…there is also always plenty of pizza!


Mrs Martin

Assistant Headteacher