Principal's Blog

Principal's Blog - Friday 20th September 2019:

Mrs Jean Skelton, former matron and governor of Rushmoor School, sadly passed away during the summer.  Representatives from the school attended her funeral on Monday 16 September 2019.  Jean was a strong supporter of Rushmoor over many years and was also enthusiastic about St Andrew’s joining as a partner because she was a former pupil of St Andrew’s School herself.  Jean was always straight-talking, which we all really appreciated.  She supported her community well over many years, including acting as High Sheriff in 1991.  Jean will be remembered fondly by many of the staff and governors, together with our former pupils who experienced her care in their boarding days.

The Welcome Barbecue took place last Friday, which was a nice way to welcome new families to the Alliance.  The weather proved to be fabulous, so thank you to everybody who came along. 

Thank you to all the staff who have been involved in the various middle/senior school transition evenings across both sites.  I hope these have proved helpful to iron out any queries that you may have had following the first couple of weeks of this new academic year. 

I would like to say thank you to Mrs Howard, one of the Rushmoor parents, who is helping once again this year with the careers syllabus.  Rushmoor’s year 11 boys took part in a workshop entitled ‘Presenting Yourself Positively’ led by Mrs Howard. We will soon be offering the same to the St Andrew’s girls.

Our Sixth Form students were provided with a ‘Working Careers’ talk on Wednesday, which we hope will help them consider their options for the future. 

I have decided to keep my Blog brief when it comes to all the sporting fixtures going on as we issue numerous updates on Twitter and FaceBook highlighting our sporting exploits, so please follow us on a social media platform to remain fully informed.  Various sporting fixtures have been taking place over the past couple of weeks and it is wonderful to see so many of our pupils becoming involved.  Talking to our new pupils, they are amazed by how many opportunities they have had to participate in fixtures already.  One of our new pupils also told me that they have had more communication in the past week or so from school than they had in the past five years at their previous school.  Hopefully that means we are getting things right and keeping all our families well-informed.

The opinions of the pupils are always valued and they have come up with some excellent ideas over the years.  To this end, the School Councils at both sites have met during the past fortnight to discuss their roles and ideas for the year ahead, including charitable events and fundraising.  The first fundraising event took place today in aid of Jeans for Genes, so thank you to everybody who contributed to this great cause.  We’ve also got the MacMillan Coffee Morning to look forward to on 27 September.

Pupils at St Andrew’s School have received the following excellent results in their London College of Music examinations – Shelby Gwiza, grade 6 Music Theatre with Distinction, Tabitha Crocker and Chloe Frost, grade 5 Music Theatre with Distinction, and Tomisin Alao grade 3 Popular Music Vocals with Distinction.  

Also, London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art examinations – Amy Parrish and Lydia Shortland, entry level Speaking Verse and Prose with Distinction, Olivia Patel, entry level Speaking Verse and Prose with Merit, Ada Padbury, grade 1 Speaking Verse and Prose with Merit, Isabelle Clegg, grade 3 Speaking Verse and Prose with Distinction, Lottie Kent, grade 3 Acting and Speaking Verse and Prose with Merit, Sophie Fletcher, grade 4 Acting with Distinction and Holly Collins, grade 4 Speaking Verse and Prose with Merit. Our thanks to Mrs Turton for her valued teaching and support of the pupils.  

On Tuesday evening Mr Jones at St Andrew’s School welcomed a fine turn out from the year 9 cohort and their parents and guardians. The aim of the event was to share information about the recent GCSE curriculum changes. The role of parents was highlighted and resources shared on how to best support the girls through this potentially stressful period. All resources will be shared with parents next week so please do not panic if you were unable to attend. If there are any further queries following this event concerning GCSE syllabuses or options then please do not hesitate to be in contact with Mr Jones.  

On Thursday evening we welcomed the year 6 and 7 parents into school to discuss how the transition into Senior School has gone. It has been wonderful to hear such positive comments in light of this event and it has ratified our belief that both year groups have made strong and enjoyable starts to life in the Seniors. For this fact they should be very proud.

Nursery & Junior School News:

You may have seen on social media that the children in Rushmoor EYFS had a visitor last week, a scientist brought Robbie the Robot.  Following the children's interest in the story 'Winnie the Witch and the big bad robot’, the children have continued their learning around robots. They came into school to discover Robbie the Robot was missing and he had left a letter explaining that he was feeling lonely. The children decided to create their own robot friend for Robbie. First the children designed their robots. They then used a range of tools and techniques to create their robots using junk modelling resources. The following day the children were so excited to discover that Robbie had returned and he was surrounded by all his new robot friends.  

This week, Robbie the Robot had a challenge for the children. In the night Robbie’s arm had got stuck to a magnet. Robbie wanted the children to be scientists and discover what other things might stick to the magnet. The children made predictions and recorded their findings.  

At St Andrew’s Pre-school the children have been learning phonics, beginning with the letter ‘S’.  They have enjoyed making sandwiches and snacks, as well as looking at spaceships, spiders and collage squirrels for their Autumn board.  The children have also cut out leaves and painted them in Autumn colours to hang on their indoor tree.  There has been lots of play using shapes and sand.

Well done to all pupils who have been awarded Junior School roles of responsibility as follows:

Rushmoor School:

Junior Representatives: Oscar Wood & Jacob O’Neill

Heads of House:         

Randall: Ben Handscombe              

Richardson: Alex Thomson        

Owen: Jamie Marshall

Sports Captains:

Basil Anstee (1st half of the year) & Albie Beeden (2nd half of the year)         

Rugby Captain: Majus Hodges         

Football Captain: Cameron Venn         

Cricket Captain: Tom Ulvert  

St Andrew’s School:

Junior Representative: Tilly Norman

Heads of House:         

Stuart: Rosalia Hendry         

Windsor: Lucia Treleven         

Tudor: Charlie Allen

Sports Captain: Flossy Stott  

Junior School Stars of the Week:  

St Andrew’s School

Friday 13 September:

Reception – Arabella Taylor

Year 1 – William Woodrow

Year 2 – whole class

Year 3/4 - Evie Martin

Year 5 – Darci Chiesa/Izzy Child  

Friday 20 September:

Reception – Al-Akhire Babajide

Year 1 – Liliana Sepede

Year 2 – Max Hendry

Year 3/4 - Helen Weston

Year 5 – Charlotte Allen  

Rushmoor School 

Friday 13 September 2019

Reception – Matheus Costa-Hale

1ET – Arthur Lees

2KGL – Kieron Kirkham

3JM – Lilia-Diya Dass

3ST – Alessio Nandha

4ET – Hugo Auton

4ZL – Farell Kotecha

5CR – Basil Anstee

5HT – Henry Seacombe  

Friday 20 September 2019

Reception – Lyuben Savkov-Lin

1ET – Rahaf Adam

2KGL – Vaishnavi Naganaboina

3JM – Lawrence Johnson/Alfred Finlayson/ Tara Adams/Sienna Nandha

3ST – Jack Saunders

4ET – Tanishk Barve

4ZL – Qais Ghazzawi

5CR – Kai Wolkenstein

5HT – Ashley Venn  

Principals Awards:

Sophie Weston in year 6 for being helpful and supportive to her peer group.  

Jamie Buddle for his holiday scrap book.

Ben Handscombe for all the work he completed over the summer holidays.

Ben Cicco for going above and beyond with his maths revision over the holidays.

Jaylin Patel for his wonderful artwork.

Ethan Watson for doing fantastic science homework and doing more than was asked for.

I would like to say well done to Charles Grimes, one of our sixth formers, who took part in a Combined Cadets Service East Anglia Skill at Arms event during the weekend of 6 – 8 September.  Great effort Charles.  Anybody who is interested in joining the CCF should speak to Mr Ferrer at Rushmoor for further information or Mr Jones at St Andrew’s. 

Massive congratulations to Noah Broomfield, Toby Kilroy and ex-pupil Dominic Lee-Krishna who were integral members of the Biddenham U11 Cricket Team who won the Bedfordshire County Championship Final on 26 August.  The team were also unbeaten all season!

We were highly delighted last weekend to receive the news that Rushmoor School has been shortlisted for the ISA’s national award for our learning support provision.  The Alliance has a unique reputation for providing excellent learning support across all areas of the curriculum and receiving recognition in this way is just the icing on the cake.  We can add it to Rushmoor’s and St Andrew’s ever-growing list of accolades from the ISA.

The Mock Interview evening for Rushmoor and St Andrew’s year 11s is taking place at Rushmoor School on Friday 8 November.  If you would like to volunteer and interview the pupils, please contact Philippa Abruzzese at

A reminder that Open Morning takes place next Saturday, 28 September, and all parents, grandparents and friends are invited to join us should you so wish.  

Kind regards

I M Daniel, BA (QTS), NPQH


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