Mr Bevis' Words Autumn Week 7
Well it has been a pretty busy half term and as ever Senior Girls have crammed a huge amount of learning and activity into each day.
Very proud of Year 10 who turned up to the Fireworks last Saturday in numbers to run stalls, sell innumerable soft drinks and sweets and thank you also to our Sixth Form on car parking. I should also mention the more than 20 staff who turned out and of course our own PTA who put in so much hard work to support Senior Boys PTA who organised and ran the whole event. It was a great night, despite the rain, and the fireworks were spectacular.
We were rushed off our feet at the Open Afternoon, with 29 families visiting us, and well done again to Year 10 who were our guides. It’s a tricky challenge for them, with each guide having to manage two families, guiding them into lessons and not getting stuck too long with enthusiastic teachers!
Sport wise we continue to be successful with our U14 hockey defeating Leighton Park, and our U12 Netball squads having their first outing on the RBWM tournament. The A team lost out on goal difference to Newlands and were unbeaten, and the B team also took 2nd place in their pool. Well done girls Mrs Heywood tells me that you were by far the most skilful teams. More details here - https://goo.gl/D1fB0d. The Ist XI were not able to keep our good run going and lost out to a very strong Gordon School team.
Whilst all of our pupils have earned some R&R I spoke to Year 11 in assembly and advised them that they should also plan in some regular time to revise and consolidate their learning. GCSE work continues apace and Year 11 and parents will be receiving feedback and advice from subject teaches at the Parents Evening on Tuesday 8 November
Thursday assembly was taken up by the winning Year 9 Internet Safety presentations. Two groups of Year 9 spoke powerfully and with great clarity on the two topics of Cyberbullying and Sexting. This was the culmination of several weeks of research and discussion, led by our external consultant Paul Hay, in which the whole challenging area of digital technology and social media was thoroughly explored. They produced some startling statistics, and one that stood out for me was that 90% of those who are the victims of online harassment or abuse do not report it. We work hard to encourage and enable our pupils to find their voice and to speak up for themselves or others.
Last Sunday our singers, dancers and actors were rehearsing with their counterparts from Sixth Form and Senior Boys for a ‘Night at the Movies’ and I do hope you are getting your tickets. The performances are on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 November and you can get your tickets from the Norden Farm online box office
Whilst this is a bulletin for Senior Girls I do feel I should also mention that we now have received our latest added value data from the CEM centre for last year’s Sixth Form A Level results, which again puts us in the top echelon of schools in the country. They still have to process one or two of our results so I cannot quote the percentage yet, but it is a magnificent effort by students and teachers.
Good luck to all those embarking on modern foreign language trips and our hockey tour to Barcelona. Huge thanks to all the staff giving up part of their half term break to lead and accompany our youngsters, and enable them to have so many wonderful experiences.
I think I’d like to close this final half term bulletin with th words that I used at our Open Afternoon. Dr Sam Lucy is a Cambridge admissions tutor and she has recently written that “too many students do not embrace the ‘joy of learning’ any more”. She went on to criticise the ‘cult of perfectionism’ saying, "We are recruiting all these fabulously talented young people who then find it very hard to fail at anything because they are used to this culture of perfectionism." She said, "There is no longer as much joy in learning and in pursuing your own interests and enthusiasms." Students were doing things because it would "look good on a CV", not because they wanted to do it, and said “there’s an assumption that everything must end in a qualification otherwise it doesn’t count, and that I think is deeply depressing."
As a school we are committed to sending her, other universities, and employers young people who are independent, resilient and skilful learners, who care for each other, and who have a breadth of learning, along with the preparedness to step outside their comfort zone, and who keep a life enhancing view of new opportunities.
Have a marvellous half term.
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”