Principal's Blog

Alliance Blog 3:

Firstly, I would like to thank all the pupils and staff who came along to the open mornings on 10 March 2018, together with the staff and families who attended the Nursery ‘Stay and Play’ at Walmsley House. Despite the open morning having to be rearranged we did have a good number of visitors across the alliance, which is pleasing.

Thank you to Miss Camino for organising the alliance trip for our year 7 pupils to visit Wembley Arena on 7 March 2018 to celebrate WE Day. Thank you also to Mrs Bassett-Gilham for accompanying the children. We first attended this event last year and thought that the message they are promoting is excellent. The movement brings people together to try to change the world; changing attitudes by working together to shift the world from ME to WE.

The message is simple and we want to encourage our pupils to recognise that no matter what your age or where you live, we can all make a positive impact to the world – whether that’s volunteering, fundraising or raising awareness for causes. We will continue to explore the WE movement through school assemblies and PSHCE lessons.

The pupils heard messages from the Hollywood actress Lily Collins (pictured), together with Katie Piper, Alexandra Burke, Holly Branson, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie plus many more. From the picture, it certainly looks as if they had a good time!

Another alliance visit happened on 6 March 2018, The Faith Tour, which year 6 complete each year. As part of their religious education the pupils are studying different faiths and this trip helps to support their classroom based learning. They visited All Saint’s Parish Church, Jamia Masjid Gulshane Bagdhad Mosque and Guru Nanak Gurdwara. Each year the pupils are very interested to learn about the different faiths and the message which comes across is that they have very similar values. The tour certainly helps to promote understanding.

There have been a number of consultation evenings over the past fortnight, some rescheduled due to the adverse weather we experienced at the beginning of March; years 12, 10 and 6 together with the junior school at Rushmoor and Junior School and year 10 at St Andrew’s. At Rushmoor we also had the year 9 options evening. I hope that all these events were helpful and informative. If you have any queries in relation to any subjects please contact the subject teachers or form tutors using their email addresses that are listed on the schools websites.

Our senior pupils are given extra responsibilities during their time in year 11 and Leon Smith is the senior prefect in relation to academic matters at Rushmoor. In this role Leon was asked to make a presentation to the Curriculum Committee governors about his impression of learning throughout the school, pupil involvement and how he feels children learn best. Listening to our pupils and allowing them to have a voice heard at governor level is extremely helpful in the leadership of the school; it is something that is highly regarded by Ofsted and the Independent Schools Inspectorate. I would like to thank Leon for his presentation.

Linking in with the PSHCE curriculum and promoting British values, our years 5 and 6 pupils at Rushmoor and St Andrew’s had an assembly all about the role of magistrates. The aim of the assembly was for our pupils to begin to understand the laws of the land and the role that magistrates play in ensuring that law and order is maintained and the correct punishments are levied.

As part of their PSHCE syllabus, the year 12 sixth form students had an assembly about sexual health. This was a forum in which they could learn more about the issues surrounding this topic, such as the risks involved and how best they can be avoided. This is an important part of the PSHCE programme for our older students and I hope that they found it informative.

Thank you to one of our parents at Rushmoor, Mr Ulvert, for hosting an assembly about the army. It was a really interesting presentation delivered by someone with 16 years’ service in the British Army. The children thoroughly enjoyed it and I hope that we can do the same type of assembly for the pupils at St Andrew’s.

We welcome parents bringing their knowledge and expertise to share with the pupils, so if you are interested in taking an assembly, please do get in touch.

Due to the bad weather on 2 March, we postponed our celebrations across the alliance for World Book Day. The thought of our pupils coming into school in flimsy costumes was not appropriate given the snow, and we didn’t think Cinderella would look good in Wellington boots instead of her glass slippers! Thankfully the children were able to enjoy dressing up as their favourite book character on Friday 9 March instead. Thank you to all the teachers and support staff involved in organising the activities for this fun-filled day, with the aim being to encourage our pupils to develop a lifelong interest in books.

Throughout this half of term, pupils across the alliance have been taking part in our inaugural Spelling Bee. We were all impressed by the spelling ability of a the 26 children who reached the final and how brave they were about standing up in front of the Junior School. The children had to get through several knockout rounds within their key stages and there were some very hard fought tie breakers – in fact at several points the judges had to confer and check in their dictionaries! Sometimes it is just the luck of the draw with spellings as to which ones you get on the day and I want to congratulate all the children on their hard work and determination – it was amazing to see. There were some seriously difficult spellings and the audience and judges broke out in spontaneous applause on a couple of occasions.

The 14th March was Pi Day. Pi is used in mathematics to represent a constant, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter (3.14159). Devised by the famous Ancient Greek mathematician, Archimedes, Pi is an irrational number, meaning it continues infinitely without repetition or pattern. The number Pi is extremely useful when solving geometry problems involving circles, which our pupils have been learning all about during Pi Day 2018.  At Rushmoor the year 7's learned by drawing different size circles on the playground and then measuring the diameter and circumference of each. By dividing the circumference by the diameter they got results that were incredibly close to 3.14. They were read a story about Pi and older boys were shown how Archimedes used the areas of the inscribed and circumscribed polygons to approximate this fascinating number. To make the day more memorable, there was a Great Pi Bake-Off with some amazing entries and a number of students also made an amazing effort to learn some of the digits of Pi, with two students memorising 52 and 51 digits each - very impressive. Even the kitchen provided pie for desert today! Hopefully, it was a day the boys won't forget.

Our A level drama pupils had their practical examination on 7 March 2018, held in front of an external moderator. The A2 examinations are demanding and I know that our year 13 students have worked hard to perfect their performances and have a great attitude towards the subject, which pleases me immensely.

On Friday the Year 10 drama GCSE group performed at the Festival of Speech and Drama in the Creative performance class. The piece had been devised by the boys earlier in the year. They had looked at physical work by Push theatre Company and Frantic Assembly and used their ideas to help shape their own work. The judge spoke highly and thanked them for a memorable performance; she also said that their rapport and commitment to each other was highly sophisticated for their ages. Well done boys. A great night and well deserved win.

A number of Rushmoor boys took part in the Bedford Speech and Drama festival and I would like to congratulate them all for doing so well. They all got positive feedback from the adjudicator; well done to Julian Romaniv, Charlie Klein, Ben Handscombe, Aadhi Arun and Ellery Few-Wiegratz . Due to the snow Finlay Castell couldn’t take part, but I would like to mention him for all his hard work and preparation.

The following girls from St Andrew's entered a variety of different categories at the Bedfordshire Festival: Holly Collins, Isabelle Burt, Amy Parrish, Ada Padbury, Lottie Kent, Georgia Barnes-Quinn and Isabelle Clegg who was placed third in the year 7 Prepared Reading category. Very well done to all who took part.

I would like to congratulate Giorgia Chiarelli, year 11, who performed at the Bedfordshire Speech and Drama Festival last Saturday with a group of girls from a drama group that she attends on Friday evenings. The group were awarded an ‘Outstanding’ with the maximum 10 marks for their performance, which qualified them to perform in the gala night where they were up against other top performers. To their surprise and absolute delight Giorgia and her group won best overall in the Speech and Drama section. This is an outstanding achievement – congratulations Giorgia.

We are all looking forward to the Rushmoor production of We Will Rock You next week. There are limited tickets left so please contact the office if you would like to purchase some.

My thanks to Mrs Chaplin who has today taken our year 10 art students for a day out in London visiting various art galleries where the pupils can be inspired. Art is not something I know a great deal about, but I am always impressed by the work that the art departments in both schools produce.

I have also learnt just how demanding the subject is in terms of time spent researching artists and learning how to see beyond the obvious in order to comment on their work. It really is a fascinating subject, with lots of different avenues to explore. Those taking art based subjects at GCSE and A level have to be dedicated, as the time involved to produce good sketchbooks and work pieces is extremely demanding. They must be prepared to do a lot of work outside normal lessons to achieve the best results.

To parents of year 10 pupils who are visiting the galleries today, I would suggest talking to them about what they have seen whilst it is fresh in their minds and encouraging them to use today’s trip to improve their sketchbooks.

This evening we have an alliance disco for the boys and girls in years 5 and 6 taking place at Rushmoor. Thank you to staff and helpers who are hosting this event, which will raise funds for the alliance. I am sure that the children will have a great time!

Sports News:

St Andrew's had their final Active Girls session last week, and it was a great one to end on - clubbercise, complete with glow sticks! At the end of the session all the girls were given a pink towel and a water bottle. Well done to you all - you took part in everything that was thrown at you with great enthusiasm!

After a couple of cancelled matches, year 5/6 had their second league fixture on Tuesday 6 March, and played brilliantly to beat KCA 4-1. Their defending was superb, and the girls played well to give the shooters lots of scoring opportunities. They all played really well as a team, but players of the match were Toluwa Alade and Lillie Morris.

On Friday 9 March, year 5/6 played in the U11 District Netball Tournament. In a very tough group, they lost to BMS, BGS and Lincroft but beat Scott Primary. Player of the tournament was Olivia Patel. Many thanks to Mrs Wyatt for taking the girls.
Meanwhile, on the same day, year 7/8 were playing in the ISA Regional Netball Tournament in Essex. The girls got off to a great start, beating Dwight 4-2, but then came up against some gigantic girls (!), and lost the next two matches. For their final game, they were determined to finish with a win. It was a very close-fought fixture, but the girls dug deep and beat Trevor Roberts 3-2. Players of the tournament were Ella Stone & Amelia Creasey. Thank you to Mrs Andrews for accompanying us to Essex.

Year 5/6 are playing in the ISA Mixed Hockey Tournament today so we wish them well. As reigning champions, I am sure they will do both schools proud.
On Sunday we have the re-arranged ISA Cross Country National Finals - with another snow warning in place we are keeping fingers crossed that it will go ahead! Good luck to those travelling to Rugby for this event: Rosie Foster-Glennon, Amelia Creasey, Kasey Darnton, Ella Stone, Amelia Baker and Anusha Kambli.

Last Friday the Yr11 rugby 7s team took the long journey to Maidenhead RFC for the ISA National U16s Rugby 7s tournament. The day started in very competitive fashion against a strong Bedstone College team, the game was fast paced and end to end. Both teams had clear opportunities to win but the pace of our wingers showed and the team came away with a tough 14-12 victory. Next up in the group stages were Bredon School, having got used to the different style of 7s rugby the team played much better moving the ball effectively in attack and swamping their opponents in defence. A fantastic solo try from Dylan John coupled with his big hitting in midfield allowed the team to stretch to a comfortable 24-5 victory. A place in the main cup was now assured but a game against host Claires Court would decide the group winner. Having played back to back games the players look fatigued and this showed against a very good side, the team stuck to the task but were outplayed by the host meaning we would qualify as runner up from group 1. In the cup quarter finals we played Quinton House in a very physical game, deteriorating weather conditions made it difficult for our pace men to find space meaning a very close encounter. Both teams had chances to win it but with the game locked at 17-17 it was Quinton House who scored with the last play of the game to deny us a place in the semi-finals. Although disappointed the players did themselves and the school proud over the day. Player of the day went to Dylan John.

Last week we took a combined Rushmoor/St Andrew’s team to the latest School Sports Partnership Multi Sports event held at Westfield School. A total of 30 students attended all looking forward to playing either football, scoreball or athletics. Unfortunately within a short time of being at the event bad weather meant both the football and scoreball had to be abandoned. The 10 lucky students taking part in indoor athletics were not affected and had a wonderful morning testing themselves across a number of athletic disciplines such as throwing, jumping and running. All the students enjoyed the morning once they had warmed up from the bitterly cold weather outside. Pictured are the athletics team and Rio Noto who won the award for determination among the students participating.

This week we took a Year 7 Football B team to the School Sports Partnership tournament at Biddenham. The team played a total of four games on the evening. We opened with a tough fixture against a very good Lincroft side; a well worked goal from Thomas Gee was the difference between the two teams with Rushmoor winning 1-0. Next up were hosts Biddenham, the team pressed for long periods of the game and missed a number of good opportunities before a late goal sealed another 1-0 victory. This was followed by a disappointing 1-0 loss to Wixams in a game we really should have won if not for the opponent’s talented goalkeeper. The last opponents were Bedford Free School with four of the five teams still in with a chance of winning the tournament. The players saved their best till last with a very impressive 4-0 victory being more than enough to win the overall title.

The Year 3 A, B & C team played Bedford School on Thursday. All three games were very close, we won one, drew one and lost one. The B & C teams should be especially pleased as they have remained unbeaten throughout the season, emphasising the year group’s strength. They are currently playing Castle Newnham School, good luck boys!

Junior School News:

I am delighted to announce the results of the recent Spelling Bee at St Andrew’s:
1st - Zac Pitter, 2nd - Aiden Blattner, 3rd - Maddie Enright
Lower KS2:
1st - Amelia Perry, 2nd - Jenna Nethersole, 3rd - Tilly Norman
Upper KS2:
1st - Grace Constant, 2nd - Eliana Hashemi, 3rd - Chloe Marcos

On 24 March, Demi Sunda in year 6, will be competing in the World Championships of Irish Dance in Glasgow. To gain her place Demi has competed against 50 other dancers, gaining sixth place in the southern region. Only ten places per region are awarded. Demi’s success is a result of a lot of hard work and dedication. She trains for two hours, three times every week in London, making the round trip after school, with some additional training for four hours on Sundays. We wish Demi every success at the World Championships and look forward to hearing all about it

As part of Science Week Urban Safari animal experience visited Rushmoor School. The children learnt about snakes, barn owls, scorpions, meerkats, civit cats, tarantulas and iguanas. Pupils were also able to stroke, hold and feed some of the animals. It was a fantastic experience for all pupils and teachers!

Year 5 have been studying Ancient Greece this term. They enjoyed presenting their work and explaining what they had learnt to the school this afternoon.

EYFS News:

At St Andrew’s our Nursery staff understand the important part that positive relationships play and the impact they have, not only on a young child’s brain development, but also their self-esteem and confidence.

The stay and play sessions provide a wonderful opportunity for nursery parents to spend time with nursery staff and to participate in activities. This opportunity to spend time together reinforces to the children that they are important to all adults involved in their care. Miss Niro and her team would like to thank all the parents who attended their recent session and she looks forward to seeing you all at the next one

Within the baby unit, the babies are starting to develop a real sense of self and showing a sense of fun in their play as they find delight in playing peek a boo and dressing up….it is always wonderful to see the little ones making steps towards independence.

Rushmoor EYFS held a Mother’s Day Breakfast on Friday 9th March. The children decided they wanted to invite their mum’s in to celebrate Mother’s Day with them at school. The children wrote invitations inviting their mum’s to a Mother’s day breakfast. They walked to the local post box to learn about the journey a letter takes.

On Friday 9th March, the mum’s came into school and the morning began with busy fingers. The children were excited to share their learning with their mum’s.
The children performed a song for their mum to say thank you for all they do. They then sat down with their mum’s to enjoy a delicious breakfast.

Principal’s Awards:

Noemi Bator and Gabriel-Joel Holland for their impressive piano playing in Junior School assembly.
Caroline Demuth and Endean Nahummah-Eli for their outstanding work in Geography.
Amie Gray, Lindsey Gifford and Emma Grieve for their excellent conversational work in French.
Toby Sutliff for getting 100% in his science test.
Archie How for his fantastic Ancient Greek clay pots.
Alfie Stoughton for going above and beyond with his ICT homework in inventing a game.
Kian Woolven for his creative writing in English this week.
Harry Smith for speaking to the governors in their Curriculum Meeting.

Junior School Stars:

St Andrew’s Week: 9 March 2018

 Reception Dylan Gilbey

Year 1 Noemi Bator

Year 2 Perpetual Nyamtowo

Year 3/4 Rosalia Hendry

Year 5 Stephanie Smith

Year 6 Grace Constant

Rushmoor Week: 9 March 2018 
RLH Jace Nyenya 
1TS Georgi Savkov-Lin 
2EB Natalie Tshuma 
3JM Alex Timpau-Rat 
3ST Majus Hodges 
4AB Oliver Hurley 
4ET Shiniece Powell
5CL Jack Searle
5CR Ellery Few-Wiegratz
5JP Dominic Lee-Krishna

St Andrew’s Week: 16 March 2018


Reception Vedh Muralidharan

Year 1 Clara Hendry

Year 2 Jake Woodrow

Year 3/4 Charlotte Pettitt

Year 5 Phoebe Phillips

Year 6 Isabella Milner-McLean

Rushmoor Week: 16 March 2018 

RLH Erin Eaden 
1TS Sam Burchell 
2EB Qais Ghazzawi 
3JM Jeniqua Nyenya 
3ST Jago Hooley 
4AB Noah Etti 
4ET George Simmonds
5CL Toby Sutliff
5CR Harrison Wilson & Ellery Few-Wiegratz
5JP Aadhi Arun

As this new alliance blog is issued fortnightly, this will be the last blog before the Easter holiday, although we still have another week to go before we break-up. We have a number of things coming up over the week ahead, firstly the Rushmoor trip to Montpellier in France for the pupils in years 9 and 10. This is a wonderful, enriching experience for those studying or planning to study GCSE French. Thank you to Madame Lewis and Madame Thiebeaux for taking the boys on this trip. The pupils will attend school in Montpellier and mix with French students, which will help to improve their conversational skills. They will also visit places of historical and cultural interest, which broadens the enrichment opportunities. I have no doubt the pupils will enjoy this trip and learn a lot from it.

St Andrew’s School pupils have their house dance competition to look forward to on the last day of this term, which I am sure they will enjoy. Rushmoor pupils will attend our traditional Easter Church Service at St Martin’s Church, which families are welcome to attend should you so wish, the service starts at 11a.m. Both schools will finish for the Easter break at 12.00 midday.

A reminder that there are many booster revision sessions for our GCSE and A-level students over the course of the break and I am very grateful to our staff for doing these. Pupils who have formal examinations in May and June must ensure they do a sensible amount of revision throughout the holiday period in order to achieve their very best.

Full reports will be issued electronically today for pupils in years 9 and 11 at St Andrew’s and years 9, 11 and 13 at Rushmoor.

School will begin again on Tuesday 17 April 2018.

Kind regards

I M Daniel, BA (QTS), NPQH


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