Principal's Blog

Alliance Blog 14:

On 26 November year 6 girls from St Andrew’s and year 3 pupils from Rushmoor teamed up for a trip to Stibbington Education Centre in Cambridgeshire. This trip supports their studies on World War 2 and what it was like to be evacuated.

Our pupils had to pretend to be a child who was actually evacuated to Stibbington, with the names taken from a list in the museum’s archives. Thank you to parents for providing the pupils with suitable clothes so they could look the part. Carrying their own gas mask box, and eating a typical 1940’s lunch certainly helps to bring to life what the children experienced during the war; hopefully it also helps our pupils to understand just how lucky we all are today.

We were pleased to welcome representatives from the National Citizenship Service to an assembly for pupils in years 11 and 12. They explained all about the NCS programme, which designed to provide young people with new experiences. The 3-week summer course involves a residential where you will take part in outdoor pursuits, followed by a residential at a local university, where you experience what it’s like to fend for yourself away from home. Everything from a limited budget, cooking, cleaning and taking part in activities such as first-aid training. The final week focuses on raising money for charity. There is also an autumn course, which has a shorter timescale. Over the years, a number of our pupils have taken part in NCS and have enjoyed it. It looks good on your UCAS personal statement and your CV, so I hope that some of the pupils will attend in summer 2019.

On 3 December some of the year 10 girls took part in the first heat of the ‘Youth Speaks’ public speaking competition, which is organised by the Rotary Club. There were two teams representing St Andrew’s School, each consisting of three competitors; Caroline Demuth, Sana Abidi and Tabitha Crocker spoke about body image and Shelby Gwiza, Evie Maddison and Imogen Curryer spoke about creativity in the curriculum. I am proud to say that both teams performed to a very high standard, in front of a large audience, showing excellent speaking skills and evidence of having worked collaboratively in planning their speeches. However, Caroline, Sana and Tabitha really impressed the judges with their presentation, winning them a place in the district competition that will take place in the New Year. Congratulations to all who took part and to Mrs Lowe for taking them.

Two teams from Rushmoor also entered the Rotary Club’s speaking competition 'Youth Speaks'. It is a well-established competition designed to encourage effective communication skills. Both teams performed exceptionally well: speaking clearly on a public platform about American gun laws and gene-editing respectively. The Year 10 team, Navraj Wahraich, Oscar Smith and Harry Watling succeeded in gaining a place at the regional heat with Navraj also winning the joint title of the night's 'best speaker'. The Year 9 team consisted of Oliver Frame, Ben Wookey and Thomas Kilroy; they were also highly commended for their performance. This was a fantastic event and we look forward to encouraging more public speaking at Rushmoor.

The girls in year 11 at St Andrews have been taking their GCSE mock exams and have demonstrated great maturity and diligence in the preparation for these.

During this week pupils in the choirs from both Rushmoor and St Andrew’s have performed at the Christmas Tree Festival held at St Paul’s Church. Thank you to Mr Day and Mrs Shackleton for ensuring the choirs were fully prepared for their performances. Well done to all the children involved.

Each school provided decorations for a tree at the Festival and I would like to thank Mrs Bushell, Mrs Hope and Mrs Robinson for going along to sort out our decorations. A special mention to Sam Homer, Sixth Form student who designed and made the decorations for the Rushmoor tree; the theme was ‘Around the World’. Thank you to parents and grandparents who visited this event to support our choirs and the represented charities. This year the alliance photography club had the opportunity to enter the competition to photograph the event. Fingers crossed for the outcome. Please remember that there are places available for boys and girls to take part in the photography club.

Last weekend our CCF students were out on their first weekend field trip of the year. Year 10 were in a 24 hour manoeuvre doing lots of different drills and camping outdoors, while our new cadets from year 9 were taught the basic skills and knowledge they will need this year within their section Army, RAF or Navy.

They all had lots of fun, a very busy agenda each day and, which is more important, they made good friends within the CCF family.

In their recent science lessons years 3 and 4 at St Andrew’s enjoyed conducting experiments to investigate friction and how springs can be used to measure forces.

On 6 December pupils from years 10 to 13 travelled to London to visit galleries, including the Tate Modern, which helps with art and photography GCSEs and A-levels. This is a busy day, with plenty of sights to see and images to reflect-on and inspire. The day was rounded-off with a meal at Pizza Express. I hope that our budding artists enjoyed the trip and will use the Christmas break to work on their sketchbooks. It can never be underestimated just how much work is required at both GCSE and A-level in all the art-based subjects in order to access the higher grades.

Last Friday, Mrs Williams-Adedeji, a Rushmoor parent, gave a talk to the A level law students. She explained about the different areas of law that city firms deal with. The students learned the different paths they could take to become a city lawyer, and what exercises they may be asked to complete in an interview. Thank you to Mrs Williams-Adedeji for taking the time to come in.

Last week the Rushmoor GCSE drama students took their performance exam for the devised unit. It was lovely to have year 10 and parents as an audience for the dress rehearsal, the performances on the day were excellent. All the boys had a strong sense of ensemble and used lots of daring techniques. The pieces were highly thought provoking and all those involved should be very proud of themselves.

Year 2 at Rushmoor have been learning all about writing letters for the past few weeks. As it's that time of year again they wrote to the big man himself...Santa Clause! This week they finished writing their letters, asking all about what life is like in the North Pole, asking for their favourite toys and most importantly, telling Santa what they love so much about Christmas! As a class they walked down to the post box to post their letters. We have our fingers and toes crossed that Santa replies! Well done year 2 for some fantastic work in English this term.

I mentioned in my last blog that I will keep you updated on how our Rushmoor boys did in the next round of the Finals of the Young Mathematicians’ Award. They went to the next round this week at Sainbury’s and we are awaiting the results. It is already a huge achievement to have progressed this far, but we are ever hopeful of making it to the Grand Final at the University of Cambridge in January. Over 400 school teams have taken part nationwide and so the competition is tough, but George Clayton, Abbass Hussain, James Bellingham and Tyler Roach in the secondary school team and Joshua Bell, Jack Searle, Ahdhi Arun and Toby Sutliff in the primary school team all deserve congratulations for making it this far to date. We are extremely proud of them.

Sport News:

On 28 November the third session of Active Girls was Body Combat – a mixed martial arts class put to music, taught by their PE teacher, Miss Pearce. The girls were able to try choreographed kicking and hitting routines (non-contact). They soon worked up a temperature. So far the girls have experienced Zumba, Yoga and Body Combat and on 5 December they tried spinning.

St Andrew’s took a team of year 3 and 4 girls to play in a hockey match at Broughton Manor. For some this was their first experience of playing in a match so there was a mixture of nerves and excitement. The girls played hard and worked well as a team. Some thought the best part of the match was afternoon tea at the end. The girls commented: “On Friday 23 November we played hockey against Broughton Manor. We were all very nervous about playing another team but the other girls were really friendly. The first half of the game was not our best but it was still fun. Then in the second half we played much better but unfortunately we still lost. At the end of the game the girls from Broughton Manor were all very nice and said that we had played well.”

A team of year 7, 8 and 9 girls participated in an Indoor Athletics competition at the Bunyan Centre, after school on 29 November. This involved a large number of schools and included running, track events, shot, long jump, triple jump, vertical jump and speed bounce. The girls worked well as a team but a special mention to Demi Sunda who won her six-lap race, helped by her cross-country practice. Well done also to Evie Maddison who was encouraged by her team to run all the long distance races. Year 3 and 4 boys and girls from the Alliance also entered the event during the day. All our participants were outstanding in their running and field events. We finished 4th out of the 32 competing schools which is a great achievement. They should all be very proud of their efforts on the day.

Congratulations to Shannon Ryall who swam in the ISA swimming gala at the Olympic park in London on Saturday 1 December. She represented the school by swimming breaststroke in the relay event.

At the same event 6 Rushmoor pupils also represented North London at the ISA National swimming competition. All of them did fantastic with lots of improvements in their Personal Best times and ending in positions such as 4th or 5th in individual races. Well done to Oliver Frame and Joe Hearne who won bronze medals for the Year 9/10 relay. A brilliant performance from all that competed!

On 3 December St Andrew’s took 21 girls to the district swimming gala and they all represented the school brilliantly. It was lovely to see a number of girls competing for the first time and they are all to be commended on their efforts. Ella Stone won the 25m backstroke overall and finished 2nd in 50m backstroke. She also won her heat for 25m butterfly. Shannon Ryall won her heat of 50m freestyle and Jelena Ilic won her heat of 25m freestyle. Ruby Ryall was second in her heat for 25m backstroke and 25m butterfly. Rushmoor pupils from Year 6 to year 9 also attended the swimming gala. We had lots of boys ending among the first 3 positions in their heats and 3 golds for some B races. Mr Ferrer and I would like to thank the boys and girls for their great efforts and we look forward to seeing them continue to improve.

On 6 December girls and boys from years 5 and 6 both took part in an indoor athletics event, with 15 other schools taking part. There were running, throwing and jumping events so all pupils were able to show their individual strengths as well as work as a team. They all performed brilliantly and won the event. We are waiting to see if they have qualified for the county finals.

Well done to the Alliance U11 mixed hockey team who got through to the finals held at Goldington Academy on Tuesday 27 November. A great effort by everybody involved.

There have been a large number of rugby fixtures this fortnight as the season comes to an end, some of them mentioned below. Well done to all that have represented the school.

Well done to the year 4 rugby players who took part in the ISA National Rugby Competition on Sunday 25 November at Winchester House School. The team played some great rugby, with excellent levels of effort and I am sure they enjoyed the experience. Thank you to Mr Thomas and Mr Short for giving up your Sunday to take the team to this event.

Year 8s played a mid-week fixture against Bedford Junior Blues under the floodlights on the new RFU funded artificial pitch at Bedford Ath. This was a tough encounter against a very physical and well drilled team. After a slow start, the boys started to grow into the game and displayed some of their best handling and resilience in defence they have shown all season. A very well done to all players involved who kept stuck in right until the end. Man of the match, nominated by the captain of BJBs, was awarded to Will Stuart. Thank you to Mr Breeze for taking the pupils.

Year 5 played their final rugby fixture of 2018 and saved their best performance until last. All players played their part in a great win against a very strong Robert Bloomfield team. Man of the match, nominated by the players, was Oliver Hurley.

Mr Hawken and the PE department would like to take the opportunity to thank both the students and the parents for the commitment shown to extra-curricular PE since September. Over the term the school have attended almost 75 separate fixtures covering all age groups from KS1 to Year 13, many of these fixtures including multiple teams. Once again a huge number of the school cohort have had the opportunity to represent the school in some capacity on the sports field. We hope the students have a restful Christmas break and return in January ready for another busy term of sport.

Early Years:

I am pleased to let you know that Juliet Bromley, a member of the nursery staff at St Andrew’s, has taken on the role of Sensory Co-ordinator and is working with parents to share important developmental information. Her first information sheet will be sent out to nursery parents soon.

The pre-school children had a wonderful time putting on an amazing Christmas performance. The nursery team are all extremely proud of them and want to thank parents/grandparents and friends for coming.

There was also a great turnout for the Christmas stay and play on Saturday when the children enjoyed plenty of winter activities and mince pies.

Personal Pursuits:

Congratulations to Ben Howard who was selected to join Northamptonshire County Hockey. He competed in his first County U13 Festival recently, winning two games.

Well done to Alex Roberts, Rushmoor Year 9, who won his last race of the year at Red Lodge circuit and finished third in the championship this year. He still has three years in the juniors and is doing well at moving up the rankings, hoping for an even better season next year!

Principal’s Award:

Arthur Mullaney, year 2, for always upholding the values of our school and being a great role model for all others to follow.

Phoebe Phillips in year 6 for her outstanding additional project in History.

Isabelle Burt in year 6 for her wonderful costume on the Stibbington trip and the passion she shows for History.

Stephen Muniu for his literacy work.

Ali Ghazzawi for his spelling and English.

Charlie Benson for much improved swimming.

Olivia Crabtree for her Literacy work.

Junior School Stars of the week:

Rushmoor School
w/c 26 November 2018
Reception – Harvey Reynolds
1TS – Erin Eaden
2KGL – Jamie Buddle
3JM – Aiya El-Koum
3ST – Whole Class
4EB – Majus Hodges
4ET – Jamie Marshall
5CR – Amelia Hurley
5RS – Liam Kenna

St Andrew’s School
w/c 26 November 2018
Reception – Liliana Sepede
Year 1 – Khushi Masih
Year 2 – Clara Hendry
Year 3/4 - Maddie Enright
Year 5 – Jenna Nethersole
Year 6 – Freya Svendsen

Rushmoor School
w/c 3 December 2018
Reception – Eliza-Priya Dass
1TS – Alfie Primus
2KGL – Georgi Savkov-Lin
3JM – Bay Chater
3ST – Qais Ghazzawi
4EB – Jamie Marshall
4ET – Harry Mayrick
5CR – Elyn Daniel
5RS – Matthew Broadbent

St Andrew’s School
w/c 3 December 2018
Reception – Oliver Barber
Year 1 – Phoebe Watkin
Year 2 – Emma Hindocha
Year 3/4 - Tilly Norman
Year 5 – Elizabeth Seddon
Year 6 – Eliana Hashemi

The Nativity plays at both schools have taken place this week, which were wonderful. The amount of work that goes into putting these performances together is tremendous, so thank you to all the staff involved. Also thank you to all the mums and dads as I know that many households have been hearing the songs and rehearsing the lines for the past 6 weeks (including mine), as well as providing costumes and props. Watching the children perform in the Nativity is always a special time of year and makes me realise that Christmas is not far away! Well done to all the children, you were all wonderful.

In the early hours of tomorrow morning, I will be heading off to Les Menuires with the ski group. Please look out for the photographs of our trip, which will be posted via media updates. Mr Whomsley and Mr Jones will be hosting the Christmas Carol Concerts taking place in the week ahead, which I know will be enjoyable occasions and I am sorry to miss them this year. School ends at 12.00 midday on Friday 14 December 2018.

All that remains is for me to wish you all a Happy Christmas and New Year. I look forward to welcoming the pupils back on Tuesday 8 January 2019. Please remember to follow the schools on facebook/twitter and now Instagram (yes, we are modernising!)

Kind regards

I M Daniel, BA (QTS), NPQH, Principal


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