The past couple of weeks have been hectic, with so many extra activities taking place across the Alliance, such as the children attending the Young Voices Concert at the O2 and arriving back in Bedford close to midnight! Even the teaching staff had extra tuition, with our staff meeting on Monday focusing on inventive ways to extend learning techniques for numeracy throughout the curriculum.
Rushmoor School has been working with the National Citizenship Service (NCS) for a number of years, so we were delighted to receive their Gold Champion School Award. This reflects the number of students we have encouraged to participate in this initiative. NCS is for 16 and 17 year olds and is based around a week’s residential of outdoor pursuits, followed by a residential at a university, where the students have to fend for themselves, learning how to shop on a limited budget and cook. They also learn first aid skills and during the third week take time to plan a charitable fundraising activity. It is a great scheme and I would highly recommend it to our year 11 pupils to consider for this coming summer. Many thanks to Mrs Barnes and Mrs Stott for arranging this annually.
Last week the year 11 pupils were invited to attend taster sessions at our Sixth Form. This gave them the opportunity to understand what each subject entails. If you would like to find out more about the Sixth Form, please come to the Open Morning on Saturday 7th March from 10am to Midday.
It was the turn of year 6 pupils from across the Alliance to have their consultation evenings. It was nice to have the opportunity to chat with parents and their feedback was very positive; I hope the evenings were helpful. One thing I would like to clarify is that we have listened to feedback and we will be stopping the end of term rewards for a different system whereby pupils are rewarded for consistent hard work and exemplary behaviour. We hope parents will appreciate this change to create fairness for all pupils.
A magic show was held last Friday for pupils in Reception to year 2, followed by a disco for pupils in years 3 to 5 and then another disco for pupils in year 8 and 9. Thank you to all the staff and PTFA members who volunteered to supervise at these events.
Three of our year 7 St Andrew’s pupils went to Stevenage on Monday 3 February to take part in the Youth Speaks Competition organised by the Rotary Club. They performed their speeches extremely well, entertaining and engaging the audience. Well done to Isabelle Burt, Lily Eade and Jessica Serrell, and thank you to Mrs Lowe for preparing and accompanying them.
Thank you also to Miss Bamber who took three Rushmoor year 10 students, Thomas, Ollie and Ben to the district senior semi-finals of the Rotary Club's Youth Speaks competition in Hatfield on Tuesday 11 February. The boys debated the divisive topic of flu vaccination and made clever links with current affairs. All three boys presented confidently and articulated their points with clarity - a fantastic experience in oracy. The idea of the competition is to develop public speaking abilities and perform, persuade and entertain the audience with wit and knowledge of a topic.
St Andrew’s School has been hosting a Scholastic Book Fair where pupils were able to browse and purchase books. The girls thoroughly enjoyed having the book fair in school.
Mrs Bradshaw will be running the London Marathon on 26 April, and is fund-raising for the mental health charity Mind, who offer fantastic support for children, young people and adults who are struggling with their mental health. This is a personal challenge for Mrs Bradshaw who has never run anything like this distance before. Today, there has been an assembly to talk about the work of Mind and a mufti day to raise a donation towards this worthwhile charity. Thank you all for your support.
On Tuesday 4 February, year 8 from Rushmoor and St Andrew’s visited the National Space Centre in Leicester. The day began by the 'Astronaut' planetarium show and after lunch they were able to see the exhibits, such as rockets and capsules from previous space missions before the "It IS rocket science" show. Students were taught about the history of rockets and how Newton's laws apply to rocket science. I hear it was an excellent trip with what will be our first 'joint' GCSE cohort in the new school.
Reception children from St Andrew’s and Rushmoor had a wonderful day at Thrift Farm in Royston. They were so lucky to visit the lambing sheds in time to see a lamb being born. It was a fantastic experience for the children, who also met the sheep dog called Kip!
As mentioned previously, a group of pupils from years 5 and 6 went along to the O2 Arena on 5 February to take part in the Young Voices 2020 Concert. They sang as part of a choir made up of thousands of other children. The idea for the concert is to encourage self-belief, self-motivation, confidence, and ability to communicate as part of a team. It was a wonderful opportunity for those involved and the culmination of a lot of hard work from Mr Day, Mrs Shackleton and our pupils, so a big thank you to them all. Also, thank you to the parents who went along to support them.
Sport (please see social media for more detailed information)
There have been a number of football fixtures over the past couple of weeks. Our year 5 and 6 football teams showed good determination and attitude in their fixture at Milton Keynes Prep. Year 7 footballers enjoyed their first league match with a hard fought win at Lincroft School, the team played excellently together which bodes well for the rest of the campaign. The year 7 team then followed on with a game against Pitsford School. Year 9 played their first game of the season against Biddenham School. Finally, year 10 footballers took on Quinton House School. Well done to all the boys who have represented the school at football, great effort shown – keep up the good work!
Years 6 and 8 have played hockey against BMS over the past fortnight, playing some tough matches, but working well as a team and showing good commitment. Well done to all involved. The year 8 team also attended the county tournament this week playing against some high quality teams.
Pupils from years 5 and 6 across the alliance teamed up for a Badminton Competition recently, they played well and had some good results – great effort shown!
We have also taken both our Yr9 and Yr10 teams to the County Rugby 7s events this week, the teams both played well in tough conditions. The Yr10s played particularly well losing out in a hard fought semi-final to Samuel Whitbread A.
We had a selection of runners competing for North Bedfordshire in this week’s county x-country. All four students ran excellently with three top 10 finishes. Congratulations to Oscar Smith, Harvey Creasey, Tom Bailey and Evie Maddison on making the county event.
Junior School Stars of the Week
St Andrew’s School
Week ending: 7 February
Reception – Veer Mills
Year 1 – Oliver Barber
Year 2 – Elijah Masih
Year 3/4 – Maddie Enright
Year 5 – Charlotte Allen
Week ending: 14 February
Reception - Whole Class
Year 1 - William Woodrow
Year 2 - Khushi Masih
Year 3/4 - Ruby Parrish
Year 5 - Darcie Chiesa
Week ending: 7 February
1ET – Tom Hall
2KGL – Beatrice O’Connor
3JM – Lilia-Diya Dass
3ST – Henry Wooddisse
4ET – Hugo Auton
4ZL – Olivia Crabtree
5CR – Y5 and Mr Day!
5HT – Ethan Watson
Week ending: 14 February
Reception – Matheus Costa-Hale
1TS – Henry Kotecha
2KGL – Charlie Benson
3JM – Lawrence Johnson
3ST – Alessio Nandha
4ET – Jae Sunda
4ZL – Noah Wetherell
5CR – Leonard Owino
5HT – Angelos Angelopoulos
To Lorna Whitehead in year 10 for making significant improvement in English Language.
To Amy Parrish in year 6 for great effort in her studies.
Amelia Gleeson in Year 4 for outstanding effort in story writing.
Henry Wooddisse for his fantastic maths work.
Oliver Frame for his achievements in swimming. He won numerous medals at the Bedfordshire County Championships, well done Oliver!
Congratulations to Charles Grimes, from the sixth form, who has qualified to attend a week course this half term with the CCF. He will be attending a Senior Cadet Instructors Course in a residential course held at Beckingham Training Camp, Lincoln.
Last weekend, our CCF Navy section visited and stayed aboard the HMS Bristol, a training warship in Portsmouth. They enjoyed mountain biking and visited the dockyards of Portsmouth to further their naval knowledge.
Health Clarke in Year 7 raised £250 for the Bedford Langar Project. The Bedford Langar Project provide hot authentic Punjabi Curry meals for the Homeless, families, individuals and anyone in need. Heath invited Mr Singh, from the charity, to speak in assembly about the work they do. Heath then presented the cheque in front of the middle and senior school. Well done Heath we are proud of the work you have done.
We are looking forward to our Open Mornings on Saturday 7th March from 10am to Midday. We are asking pupils across the Alliance to attend if they possibly can, either to run activities in subject departments or to act as guides. In particular, we expect all Prefects to act as guides. As we head into the half-term break, I would encourage our senior pupils to use their time wisely by doing some revision! I will be joining some of our governors during the week to meet with our architects and builders in relation to the new build, so we keep moving forward with the project!
I hope you have an enjoyable half-term.
I M Daniel, BA (QTS), NPQH