In my last Blog I briefly mentioned our excellent results at the ISA London North Arts Competition, which were coming through to us from London on the Friday afternoon as the Blog was ready to be circulated. I stated our sincere thanks to Mrs Chaplin and Mrs Turner for their hard work and commitment, which has allowed our pupils’ work to shine at the awards. We are extremely proud of the pupils whose work was submitted. The following pupils have their work going through to the national finals. Well done to:-
KS2 group – Scarlett Barber, Maddie Enright, Carmen Forton, Perpetual Nyamtowo, Bronwyn Phillips, Helen Weston, Charlotte Allen, Ruby Elliott-Willey, Elsie Francis, Amelia Gardener, Rosalia Hendry, Shenay Muirhead-Stewart, Matilda Norman, Deborah Nyamtowo, Florence Stott, Elizabeth Taylor, Lucia Treleven
Alex Steiner Martin
Special mentions to Samuel Moffat and Luke Smart for being selected to represent Rushmoor School’s Art Department at the competition this year.
Art education has come under political and curriculum pressure in recent years, but we have always believed in its value and agree with Art educationalists, and psychologists who claim that it has benefits that other school subjects do not. Art allows children to explore, build on and record their own creative and imaginative ideas. It allows them to express their feelings, concerns and ideas and can encourage children to think about and understand the world visually, instead of restricting learning to words and numbers. Visual thinking helps children learn in other subjects and improves observational skills. Developing observational skills through art facilitates the child’s visual sensitivity to the world. Children will learn problem-solving skills as they try to create a three-dimensional scene from the world on a two-dimensional page. With practice, children learn that concentration and persistence allow them to get closer to the pictures they are trying to achieve. Art can help a child build up their confidence and self-esteem.
As an Alliance we believe in the importance of art across the curriculum areas, whether that is building a volcano model in geography, making a colour wheel in science to learn about the movement of light or actually sitting down to draw and paint in art itself. Art education teaches a specific set of thinking skills and helps support a broad and balanced curriculum.
Clapham Park New build
A brief update about the progress on the new site. Plans have been moving forward over the past six weeks with members of the leadership team visiting other schools to help finalise our own design requirements with our chosen builders. Valuations have been carried out on the existing sites and a working committee has met regularly to discuss ideas from curriculum matters through to the designs for uniforms. My thanks to the governors and staff who are enthusiastically moving this project forward. The new school will again be on the agenda at the forthcoming Parents’ Council meetings at 8.45am on Wednesday 16 November at St Andrews and Friday 18 November at Rushmoor.
Our Education Committee has met over the past couple of weeks with one of the focuses being our Whole Alliance Literacy Policy. We provide many literacy initiatives throughout the curriculum areas, from learning subject specific spellings, to reading award schemes. Our emphasis has been, and always will be, to encourage a lifelong love of reading, whilst also encouraging the development of communication skills both verbally and in writing. This encompasses everything from encouraging children to participate in stage productions and poetry competitions to debating clubs and public speaking competitions. The idea is to build up literacy skills, using Standard English, which are required in the working world.
Our year 11 girls at St Andrew's have been invited to attend a Walk and Talk session on Sunday 17 November to prepare them for an English Language mock GCSE. Thank you to Mrs Lowe for organising this.
GCSE and A Level Drama pupils across the Alliance are working with internationally renowned theatre company Frantic Assembly in a four-hour workshop on Friday. With the focus on developing their physical theatre and ensemble skills, all are excited to learn from this innovative company whose sell-out shows have included 'Things I know to be True'.
October is Black History Month and we have celebrated it in both schools. Black History Month was introduced in the 1980s to recognise the contributions that black people have made to this country over many generations. The aim was to challenge racism and educate people about the British history not taught in schools.
Throughout history, black people have always been present in the UK but there has been a lack of representation in the history books. Through role play, pupils were encouraged to consider what it feels like to be discriminated against as well as how unjust it felt to be the discriminator. Significant individuals and events from Black History past and present were brought to life and pupils explored the lives of inspirational people such as Mary Seacole and Rosa Parks.
Year 11 students visited the Jaguar Land Rover plant as part of their Business Studies course. Our thanks to Mr Child for helping with the transport on this occasion. The visit was based around innovative, curriculum sessions in a real business environment. Students benefit from seeing first hand all that is involved in creating a car and the business management that goes on around that creative process.
Parental Consultations have taken place for Junior School pupils at both Rushmoor and St Andrew’s, together with year 11 pupils at Rushmoor. I hope you found these to be helpful. It was pleasing to receive excellent feedback from a number of parents about the way in which our prefect teams at the consultations were helpful and conducted themselves superbly.
Duke of Edinburgh Award
Our year 9 pupils had their chance to sign up for the Duke of Edinburgh Award, with an information evening held on Thursday to explain all the elements of the bronze section. As I always stress, having the Duke of Edinburgh Award on your CV speaks volumes about the type of person you are. Somebody who is committed and willing to help others. If you are interested in signing up for the Award Scheme, please speak to Mr Morrish at Rushmoor and Mrs Andrews at St Andrew’s.
I would like to thank the new Duke of Edinburgh ambassadors for stepping up to take on this role – Hanaadi Ghazzawi and Christabel Nyamtowo. I would also like to congratulate and thank the St Andrew’s library monitors for supporting the library and making it a lovely place for other pupils to use – Pollyanna Soderqvist, Laura Smith, Jessica Sohl, Riya Sangha, Eloise Howe, Katelyn Gostelow, Ada Padbury, Sabrina Jan, Phoebe Phillips, Poppy Corner, Saikeisha Camatchee, Imogen Taylor, Cerys Holley, Faiz Shah.
Last weekend 14 students from Year 9 to Year 12 across the alliance attended the New Entry Training Wing at Yardley Chase Cadet Training Centre, where our senior cadets took a responsibility role, taking control of the lessons and helping all the year 9s in their first camp. They all took part in the activities and had lots of fun getting to know each other outside school. If any Year 8 students are interested in joining CCF next year and want to find out more, please tell them to see Mr Ferrer.
Sport (Please see Twitter or FaceBook for full sports news)
Once again, there have been numerous rugby and netball fixtures over the past fortnight, which are detailed on our social media sites. We have also had our pupils in years 5, 6, 7 and 8 taking part in the cross-country competition held at Box End in Kempston and our year 12 students playing at a golf competition in Stagsden. Well done to everybody involved in sports fixtures and thank you to our dedicated sports staff across the Alliance who set up these opportunities for our pupils.
Nursery and Junior School News With a change in the weather recently, we certainly know we are now in autumn. However, it brings so much to explore in nature and our EYFS pupils having been doing just this. In St Andrew’s Nursery, the staff and children have been looking at the letter ‘I’ - insects, Inuits and igloos and making ‘Toad IN the hole’! In Pre-school they went for a walk in the woods and were looking at fungi, fairy rings and parasol toadstools.
Rushmoor EYFS pupils went to Bedford Park today to see what signs of autumn they could find and to learn more about changes in the environment. The children took part in a Forest school activity and worked in small groups to create a home for a hedgehog. The children had to think about where they wanted to make their home and what resources from the forest floor they wanted to use. It was lovely to hear all about their morning when I collected them from the park.
This week, Rushmoor Reception class had a visit from their friends at St Andrew’s. It was great seeing the children taking part in a range of busy fingers activities together and playing during outdoor and indoor play. St Andrew’s kindly made biscuits to share with the children. They will be visiting each other regularly, all in preparation for when we are together in the new school.
On Tuesday Reception children from both schools got together again for an autumn walk when they saw the beautiful colours and collected autumnal treasures.
In our modern world of computers and Sat Navs children rarely get to see road maps, atlases and Ordinance Survey maps in their day to day lives. However, the skills that traditional map reading gives our pupils is still vital to their understanding of physical geography and navigation. Years 3 & 4 spent a very enjoyable lesson looking at local maps and identifying places they knew and also deciphering map symbols.
Junior School Stars of the
Week ending 11 October:
St Andrew’s School
Reception – Nari Molo
Year 1 – Liliana Sepede
Year 2 – Matilda D’Cruze
Year 3/4 - Bronwyn Phillips
Year 5 – Florence Stott
Week ending 18 October:
Reception – Veer Mills
Year 1 – whole class
Year 2 – Elijah Masih
Year 3/4 – Zara Griffiths
Year 5 – Elizabeth Taylor
Week ending 11 October:
Rushmoor School Week
Reception – Scarlett Muniu
1ET – Tom Hall
2KGL – Charlie Benson
3JM – Sebatian Rooke
3ST – Jamie Buddle
4ET – Danushka Gunasekara
4ZL – Ethan Ndokera
5CR – Callum Scobie
5HT – Alex Thomson
Week ending 18 October:
Reception – Florence Steed
1ET – Eliza-Priya Dass
2KGL – Tom Marshall
3JM – Ava Georgiou
3ST – Josh Miller
4ET – Kieran Kali-Rai
4ZL – Aiya El-Koum
5CR – Leonard Owino
5HT – Charlie Chamberlain
Matilda D’Cruze in year 2 for her fantastic piece of homework linked to the topic of Fire and Ice covered in creative curriculum.
To Shiniece Powell in year 6 for her poem “My Life Inspired by the Whale Shark” written on National Poetry Day.
Zac Myles for his model in art where he was asked to make something on the topic ‘Swift’.
Oliver Elphick for the model he made showing how day and night happens.
Matheus Costa-Hale for being kind and thoughtful.
The Rushmoor and St Andrew’s PTFA are looking for members from both schools. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Gina Ciuro at email@example.com. The next event is our Winter Fayre on Saturday 23 November.
I hope that all our pupils and their families have a lovely half-term.
I M Daniel, BA (QTS), NPQH