Handwriting Award 2018

Last month all of our students in Y2/Y7/Y8 and Y9 took part in the Queen Mother’s national handwriting competition.  To our delight we have just been informed that Y7 student Georgie Robins has been announced overall winner for her age category in this prestigious competition – well done Georgie!

Georgie will be given an engraved Cross pen and certificate as reward for her achievement.  She will also receive a family ticket for the Cambridgeshire Food & Drink Festival later this month.

As a school we have also decided to nominate some students for some in house prizes as there were so many exceptional entries.  So, further congratulations must go to:

Emily Ayres 7R, Ava Meekoms 7B, Lilley Tooley 8R, Ellie Fisher 8L, Adi Sinha 9L and Callum Stern 9R.

Mock Trial Y8 English

The State of California v George Milton

8C1/En have held a mock trial based on events within the novella ‘Of Mice and Men’.

As part of this the students developed their knowledge about the US legal system as well as building on their critical thinking skills and public speaking. It was a tense affair but eventually George was found guilty by the jury and sentenced by our judges.

Y7 Sound Waves 2018

Our Y7 students have been learning about sound waves.   They have discovered that sound waves are longitudinal and that their vibrations occur in the same direction as the direction of travel.  Sound waves can only travel through a solid, liquid or gas.  They have learnt that when an object vibrates it produces sound.

  • the greater the amplitude, the louder the sound
  • the greater the frequency, the higher the pitch

To help demonstrate these principles they have made musical instruments.   Their project had to illustrate both volume and pitch.   I hope you agree they have done this very well.

Trixie Qualifies For English Schools

On Saturday at Jarman Park, Hemel Hempstead, we had 10 athletes competing at the Herts Schools Track and Field Championships.

Star of the show was Y10 student Trixie W who ran a great 800m race. Trixie took the lead from the gun and went through the first lap in a scorching 61secs; however, still pursued by two contenders. With 100m to go Trixie pulled away to win in a time of 2mins 13secs and qualify for the English Schools.

We wish Trixie the best of luck at these championships which take place on the 13th & 14th July at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham.

Larch Healthy Living

We always love a themed week, it brings the year groups and classes together to share a common theme. This week, we have been learning about our health and what contributes to a healthy lifestyle. Miss Hill joined us for an assembly to teach mindfulness techniques to the staff and children. Throughout the day, the children were able to practise these strategies to be ‘in the now’ and aware of the world around them and their feelings at each moment. Mrs Johnston from the Art Department came to talk about how being kind to others also helps with our healthy mind and lifestyle, and introduced the SBAS Rocks. They have spent the week painting a rock which will be used for the art exhibition before being hid around for others to see, an act of kindness to brighten others day.

Elsie’s mum spent an afternoon with Year 2, leading a meditation session, which the children enjoyed. They relaxed and listened to her soothing voice, the hall has never been so quiet and tranquil! In the same day, Reception had a visit from our Road Safety officer, who taught the children how to cross the road safely. They all demonstrated how they would do this to keep themselves safe.

Skip 2 Be Fit spent the day in school on Thursday, running workshops with each class. John introduced skipping and allowed the children time to practise with the rope that counted each skip. The children were then timed for 2 minutes and the score was recorded. They then had another 2 minutes to beat their score. The children showed such determination and persevered at quite a hard skill. What a fantastic day! http://skip2bfit.com/ The staff also got involved. Now the challenge is on as we begin our journey as a skipping school.

On Friday we learned about balanced diets. Histons Produce Co. came to teach KS1 about the need for fruit (and vegetables) in their diet. They enjoyed using the smoothie bike to blend their own smoothies and tasting new fruits. Reception were joined by Darcey’s mum for a healthy eating workshop. She taught them what it means to be healthy by eating a balanced diet and the importance of a colourful plate.

We have had a fantasticweek!

 

Salad Bar Expansion

From tomorrow there will be a regular salad bar in the secondary phase canteen with a range of salads, the choice of which will change every couple of days.  Now that the warm weather has arrived (hopefully not tempting fate!) it is the perfect time of year for this new initiative – why not have a look and see if any of them tempt you?

You can fill up a salad box for £1, plus the cost of the protein element (if chosen), or have salad with your main meal for an additional 50p.

Chair Of Governors’ Blog

Please see the blog below written by Paul Connolly, Chair of Governors:

It recently became clear to the school’s governing body that not all staff, pupils and parents have a clear idea of what the Governors do on a day-to-day basis. Here is a snapshot of what we’ve been up to recently:

This spring and early summer term were dominated by preparations for the long-awaited Ofsted Inspection. This included having a “mock interview” with Russell Andrews (now an ex-Governor but a veteran of the last Ofsted inspection of September 2013). This proved to be an excellent test of how much we knew about the school, what examples we could give of providing challenge to the school, how we operate as a team both strategically and practically and for us to experience what it would feel like in the real interview – quite scary was the answer!.

Now that the Ofsted inspection is finished, I would like to thank all students, staff, governors and parents for the outstanding teamwork on display for those two days. Our contribution involved a 50-minute interview with seven Governors. We presented a simple visual picture of how we are structured and how we work to assess and mitigate the key risks faced by the school. This drives the strategy on how we both challenge and support the school to achieve the very best outcomes for all students whilst staying safe at all times.

Apart from this focus on the inspection, here are some examples of recent Governor visits that give examples of our work:

  • All governors attended their own specialist committee/s, namely Attainment and Standards, Finance, Personnel, Student Community/Partnerships and Health, Safety and Environment. Each committee reported their work to the Full Governing Body meetings to ensure we:

– Keep the vision, ethos and strategic direction on track

– Hold the school to account for the educational and staff performance

– Oversee the financial performance of the school

 

  • Governors also have “link” roles. Recent visits by these Governors are listed below:

– An unannounced visit to check how absences are recorded (Tara Bullworthy)

– Obtained information/ check details regarding safeguarding (Jayne Abery)

– Larch Centre visits to see how Years R-2 are operating and to see how the children are being taught and engaging with other parts of the school in Spanish, Reading, Maths & Music (Emma Davies)

– Supporting Mark Taylor in planning how we will sustain “Our Musical School” as the primary phase expands as 60 more pupils join each year (Ann Orpin)

– Planning the implementation of new European General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Will Davies volunteered to become the school’s Data Protection Officer and has been in to the school on several occasions to support the staff who will look after this important area

It’s not all work though as several Governors attended the fantastic first “all-through” concert. I think is a great example of how everyone is working to fully integrate the school across all age groups and will have so many benefits for learning and personal development of students.

Finally, can we also take this opportunity to wish all of our students the very best of luck in their forthcoming exams!

Challenge: Water – Success

A team of our Y8 students recently came second in Affinity Water’s Challenge: Water Competition. Students have been working since January on designing a water saving device. They have invented TAPP, a tap that is controlled by an app, with the intention that people would use less water when filling their bath. Students also had to promote water saving habits by running a campaign.

The competition ended with students having to present their project to over 100 people. The audience included competitors from other schools, university lecturers and representatives from Water Aid, Affinity Water, the Environmental Agency and Save Water, Save Money. The students did exceptionally well and winning second prize was a real achievement. Students will also be awarded with a Silver CREST award which is an impressive achievement for Y8 students. Well done.