Principal's Blog

Principal's Blog - Friday 8th March 2019:

Thank you to the pupils who came along to the Alliance Open Morning on Saturday.  We were pleased with the number of visitors and our pupils represented the schools superbly.  There were some great displays for our visitors to see, including cookery and science experiments.  

Last week some of our governors and myself spent many hours listening to the appeal regarding our plans to move to the new site at Woodlands Park.  We will not hear the result of the appeal for a few weeks and will advise parents of the outcome in due course.  We remain cautiously optimistic that our exciting plans for the future will be allowed to go ahead.   

A reminder that construction work on Bromham Bridge may cause traffic disruption.  Please bear this in mind on your journeys to and from school.  

I would like to remind Rushmoor parents to ensure they park legally when picking up their children from school.  Please do not park on double yellow lines or block residents’ driveways.  

We are very proud of Oscar Smith, Navraj Waraich, and Harry Watling for competing in the final of the Rotary Club's 'Youth Speaks' competition. The boys' topic was 'What do we have to fear from artificial intelligence?' Harry spoke about our growing reliance on artificial intelligence, followed by Navraj talking about its potential and Oscar drawing the team's arguments together with clarity; leaving the listener alarmed yet intrigued, which resulted in Oscar receiving the award for the best summarising piece.  Well done to all the boys who were superb and only just pipped at the post.  We’ve had some excellent feedback from those watching the performances, which is great.  

Pupils from year 4 at Rushmoor visited The Polar Research Institute in Cambridge.  They learned about how explorers plan for a trip, the clothes and supplies they need to take and the challenges they face. The pupils also visited the Fitzwilliam Museum which boasts one of the best collections of antiquities and modern art in Western Europe.  Our pupils particularly enjoyed the armoury.    

Pupils from across the Alliance were invited to take part in the ISA Arts Shakspeare Monalogues Competition.   We were very impressed by the standard of performances, with fantastic effort from all the pupils involved.  Isaac Bargroff, Raza Sarwar, Ellery Few-Wiegratz and Toby Sutliff, together with Lillie King and Amy Parrish had their performances videoed and sent through to the ISA for the final round.  Well done to everybody who took part.  Our year 12 A-level geography students went off to the Dorset coast recently and they were very lucky to have wonderful weather in February!  The trip has elements of classroom based work and field trips, including exploring the famous Durdle Door natural limestone arch along the Jurassic Coast.  Thank you to Miss Ross and Miss Lawrence for accompanying the students.  

St Andrew’s junior pupils received a visit from St John's Ambulance.  They learnt about how to make a 999 call and how to put a bandage on.  They were also able to look inside an ambulance, which they all thoroughly enjoyed.   

Once again the Alliance hosted the ISA London Region Cross-Country Event, this year at Mowsbury Park.  Thank you to Mr Hawken and all the team of staff and parents who helped man this event.   Pupils from across the Alliance ran really well, with a number going through to the national finals at Princethorpe School.  

Pupils from years 2 and 3 from Rushmoor took part in a swimming gala last week with pupils from local schools.  It proved to be an enjoyable experience and sets them up well for the more competitive sporting events in the future.   

It was the turn of the senior pupils this week.  We had 2 teams going for a swimming gala against Bedford School.  All the boys gave great performances which showed in their results in both individual races and relays. Thank you to Bedford School for hosting the event.  

There are a number of extra-curricular clubs that run across the Alliance, including junior drama club.  It is wonderful to see the children interacting so well together at these joint opportunities.  Thank you to Mrs Stott and Mrs Djukic who run the drama club.   

Today, our sixth form students have had the chance to visit the Milton Keynes University and Apprenticeship Fair.  This event provides our sixth formers with the opportunity to speak to numerous exhibiting universities and apprenticeship providers, which I hope they find helpful as they consider their next steps.    

ISA - Rushmoor Artist of the Month: February

Alex Parsons is nominated for this month due to the exceptional drawing skills he exhibits regularly. 'Feather' in Biro is his response to a homework assignment.  

Joe Herne is also nominated this month for an outstanding piece of creative homework showing his dedication to the subject outside the classroom. His piece 'One Dozen' is a response to a theme of the same title. The piece is a plaster of Paris tile made by pressing flowers into a slab of clay them taking a cast of the impression.   

St Andrew’s Artist of the Month: February

Nomination for this month goes to Jemima Tompkins for her continued drive towards achieving her best possible GCSE outcome. She shows true commitment and focus both in and outside of lessons.  

Bedfordshire Festival of Music, Speech and Drama

Pupils from Rushmoor and St Andrew’s have been taking part in the Beds Festival this week.  They have all put a lot of effort into rehearsing and congratulations must go to all who have been involved.  Special mention to Carmen Forton, Isabelle Clegg, Aadhi Arun and Ben Handscombe who were all placed third in their individual events – an excellent achievement.  Rushmoor Year 7 pupils came third in the poetry class with the judge saying their opening gave her goose bumps and it was highly imaginative!  Well done Tom Gee, Tom Sutliff, Sam Spary, Nathan Johnson, Jack Christy- who got a special mention from judge, Xander Hart and Luca Fattorini.  The Festival continues into Saturday and we still have some pupils to perform, so the very best of luck to them.  

Sports News:

At the ISA cross country competition on 26 February, in unusually warm weather, the St Andrew’s girls from year 3 and 4 ran extremely well.  A special mention to Bronwyn Phillips and Deborah Nyamtowo for whom this was their first race, and also to Grace Langridge for finishing 25th out of over 100 runners.   

The year 7 and 8 girls had amazingly good runs, with Demi Sunda, Kasey Darnton, Ruby Ryall and Amelia Creasey all finishing in the first ten places.  As soon as the girls were back to school the year 7/8s set off to play in hockey matches.  

At St Andrew’s the year 7/8 girls have been very dedicated in attending hockey club, rain or shine, and when the hockey tournament commenced only a few girls could be selected to play on 21 and 28 February.  The girls played very well, winning one game and drawing two.  They enjoyed playing so much that the PE staff arranged friendly matches for them, enabling the girls who hadn’t yet played to have a match.  On 5 March St Andrew’s played against Castle Newnham and Goldington.  Well done to Amy Pattinson who was persuaded to play in goal and was awarded player of the match for saving lots of goals.  In the second team, Olivia Patel was awarded player of the match.  The girls played well as a team and another match is arranged for 8 March (junior school) and 12 March (senior school) against BGS.  

The St Andrew’s year 4 girls took part in a cross-country relay event at Rowney Warren on 6 March.  The girls ran well as a team and enjoyed the event despite the rain.  I would like to thank, once again, the parents for their great support.  

Well done to the year 5/6 girls who finished 3rd at the Rowney Warren relay event.  

Well done to the year 7/8 girls who once again were fully involved in sport on Wednesday 6 March - Rowney Warren cross country in the afternoon followed by netball league matches after school.  

The success of year 7/8 in their Netball League continued this week when St Andrew’s hosted Bedford Free School. The year 7 match was close at the beginning, but ended with a convincing 9-2 win. A great team performance. Players of the match were Olivia Patel and  Katelyn Gostelow.  Year 8 put in their best performance of the season so far - excellent in all areas of the court which is great to see, just a fortnight away from the ISA National Finals! They beat the Free School 22-3. Players of the match were Amelia Creasey and Izzie Whitford.  Very well played everyone. Next week St Andrew’s play against Sandy Upper on Wednesday and also have a re-arranged game against Bedford Academy on Thursday, so a busy week of netball ahead. Good luck to all.   

This week saw a number of year groups get their football league campaigns up and running. The year 9 team fought back from a defeat in their first league fixture at Stratton Upper to win a very competitive fixture away against Samuel Whitbread B team.  The year 7 and 10 teams both had very competitive games showing some good signs for future fixtures.  The year 11 team travelled to Pitsford for a game that doubled up as a GCSE moderation opportunity, the team worked well together and came away with a pleasing win.  In the coming weeks we have a large number of league football fixtures as well as some 7-a-side B team events that will provide a great opportunity for more students to play competitive football for the school.

Year 8s got their league campaign off to a flying start with a win against a strong Bedford Free School.  After a tight first half they finished the match as 3-1 winners. Goals were scored by Ben Clarke, Oliver Codrington and Irekitan Ogundeyin. Man of the match: Harry Phillips. Well done to all students involved.  

On Friday 1 March we took 25 boys to BMS for U9 a, b, c fixtures.  All the teams played good football taking part in some very competitive games.  The boys had a great afternoon and were a credit to the school.  It is great to see us having the depth of talent to be able to put out three teams and seeing them all represent the school so positively.  

It was great to see another fixture for the alliance this week.  Twenty-one students from both schools took part in the Year 3 & 4 multisports event held at Biddenham Upper School.  These events are an excellent opportunity for our children to gain confidence in competitive match situations.  A special mention to Matthew Eaden who won the ‘passion for sport certificate’ which was awarded by the event organisers.

Junior News:

As part of World Book Day activities, Reception, year 1 and year 2 went to visit Bedford Central Library. The children and staff walked to the library and met the librarian to find how libraries work. They were shown how the books are arranged and how the library staff put the books in alphabetical order. They found the non-fiction and the fiction sections - and even had time to read some books! The children asked the librarian lots of questions and now know there are more than 87,000 books in the library and over 17,000 in the children’s section!  Before leaving the library, some of the children used their own library cards to borrow exciting books from the library. The librarian gave the children leaflets about the library to bring back to school and told them about some of the interesting activities for children that take place in the library during the school holidays. What a great start to World Book Day.  

Rushmoor and St Andrew’s Junior Schools enjoyed dressing up as their favourite book character yesterday.  We also arranged a book swap to raise money for FACES (Family and Children's Early-help Services).  FACES is a well-established local charity offering practical and emotional support to families under stress.  Their aim is to support families during difficult periods in their lives, especially where this will contribute to keeping children with their families.  

EYFS News:

At St Andrew’s Nursery, the babies now have a wonderful new sensory room with lights and sounds providing the babies with time to explore and relax.  They are enjoying the light-up pebbles and are learning colours as they change.  There are also different textured materials and a variety of sounds to listen to.  

“The senses, being explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge.  Our apparatus for educating the senses offers the child a key guide to his explorations of the world….”  Dr Maria Montesso    

The EYFS pupils at Rushmoor came into school on Monday to discover that a small box had been left by one of the magical doors.  Inside the box there was a note, which explained to the children that the enchanted creatures living behind the door are Wishkins.  They are nocturnal creatures and like to come out to play at night.  The Wishkins asked the children to not touch the door when the sun is out because they are sleeping.  The creatures asked the children to design an enchanted garden for the creatures to play in.  Next week the children will be using a range of natural resources to create their garden designs and I hope to show you some photos of their master-pieces.      

Principal’s Award:  

Alex Parsons for his outstanding artwork.

Woody Brown for his Literacy classwork.

Elyn Daniel for her maths work.

Alessio Sepede for his English.

Bay Chater for incredible encouragement, caring and sharing with taster pupils this week.

Junior School Stars of the week:        

Rushmoor School w/c 25 February 2019

Reception – Rahaf Adam

1TS – Charlie Benson

2KGL – George Steed

3JM – Gurshaan Kullar

3ST – Qais Ghazzawi

4EB – Albie Beeden

4ET – Matthew Eaden

5CR – Oliver Millard

5RS – Oliver Hurley  

St Andrew’s School w/c 25 February 2019

Reception – Oliver Barber

Year 1 – Vedh Muralidharan

Year 2 – Agnes Barrett

Year 3/4 – Sophie Muwanga

Year 5 – Amy Parrish

Year 6 – Phoebe Phillips    

Rushmoor School w/c 4 March 2019

Reception – Tom Hall

1TS – Erin Eaden

2KGL – India Ward

3JM – Yazan Ghazzawi

3ST –  Noah Wetherell

4EB – George Penlington

4ET – Arthur Surridge

5CR – Amelia Hurley

5RS – Whole class  

St Andrew’s School w/c 4 March 2019     

Reception – Isla Gleeson

Year 1 – Max Hendry

Year 2 – Zaynab Baloch

Year 3/4 – Betty Taylor

Year 5 – Jenna Nethersole

Year 6 – Eliana Hashemi  

Personal Pursuits:

I was delighted to hear about Matilda from year 5 at St Andrew’s taking part in her first competitive hockey tournament recently.  Matilda plays for Bedford Hockey Club’s U10s A-Team as their goalkeeper.  They won every match, so Matilda is obviously doing a great job.  Well done!  

Also well done to Rachel Carter for receiving a black Dan in her recent Karate grading – an outstanding achievement.      

It was great to hear that Arthur Surridge was made seconder in his cub pack this week.  Well done Arthur!  

Well done to Thomas Sutliff for being recognised for never missing a tackle in his recent games playing for Olney Rugby Club.  

As this Blog goes into circulation, some of our junior pupils at Rushmoor and St Andrew’s are taking part in ‘The Big Night In’.  The children have been invited to watch The Greatest Showman, whilst eating pizza and popcorn.  All proceeds from ticket sales are going to The Blue Cross Charity.  Thank you to Miss Glennon and the Junior School Council for organising this fundraising event.  

Blue Cross is a registered animal welfare charity and has been helping animals since 1897 by providing support for pet owners who cannot afford private veterinary treatment, helping to find homes for unwanted animals, and educating the public in the responsibilities of animal ownership. A very worthy cause for us to support.    

Kind regards I M Daniel, BA (QTS), NPQH


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