Weekly Blog

9th October – 13th October

1st Class Honours at Oxford for Former Pupil

Eleanor GravenorWe are delighted to hear Eleanor Gravenor was awarded a First Class Honours degree in Music from Oxford University this year. Eleanor attended our school and was Head Girl in her Year 11. She describes her time here as being ‘just lovely’, speaking very highly of the friendly and caring atmosphere with pupils known by all teachers and given the support and help they needed.

She also felt that it provided an excellent bridge when moving from primary school. As part of her course at Oxford she was involved in a ‘Music in the Community’ project which involved working with dementia sufferers and their carers. She is now studying at York University for a MA in Music in the Community and we wish her every success. Well done Eleanor!


Year 7 pupils had a day of team challenges and understanding how they learn. This included an activity making animals out of plasticine to represent how they think they learn. Declan from 7N thought he was a bit like ‘a bull in a china shop’ – charging into tasks without really thinking them through first. Pupils in Year 7 also had a range of team challenges, including who could build the tallest scarecrow out of newspaper and an obstacle course activity in the gym.

Year 8 pupils’ activities were focused on how to keep safe. They carried out a range of workshops on anti-bullying, road safety, internet safety and we were fortunate to have PCSO Donna Whelan and Dave Kane visit us to deliver workshops on anti-social behaviour. Pupils also spent an hour learning first aid and how to do CPR on one of our ‘Little Annie’ dummies.

Year 9 pupils participated in activities based on body image and discrimination. We were very pleased to welcome Alex Lewis who gave a fascinating talk to pupils who were captivated by his story. Pupils in Year 9 also carried out a work shop looking at how magazines use photo-shopping to alter images and then created a campaign against a form of discrimination.

Year 10 pupils’ activities were looking at the dangers of drugs, alcohol and unprotected/underage sex. Motive8 (a local drug awareness project) ran a workshop with pupils followed by a lesson allowing pupils to further explore issues around drugs. Pupils also had a session on the dangers of binge drinking and used the laptops to research the law for young people on sex, drugs and alcohol.

Year 11 took part in ‘Futures Day’. They attended the area careers fair at John Hanson school for Test Valley and other local secondary schools. As well as the opportunity to talk to a range of representatives from a large number of career and educational organisations pupils attended a presentation by Alan Bullock. He is an international careers consultant and gave an inspiring talk about a wide range of opportunities for young people.  He shared examples of differing pathways to success and also talked about university fees, overseas opportunities and everything there is to know about apprenticeships.

It was very evident at the fair that apprenticeships are becoming more popular with an increasing number of the employers. Apprenticeships are now offered in a wide range of areas with different qualification levels starting at Level 2 and progressing up to degree apprenticeships as an alternative to university.

Back in school pupils were shown how to produce a personal statement and given access to career profiling programmes to increase their awareness of the wide range of opportunities to consider. The day culminated in the completion of a careers portfolio enabling every pupil to identify the next steps they need to take.

Year 8 Computing Lessons

This week in Computing Year 8 pupils were developing their web design skills using Adobe Dreamweaver. Some pupils had already created their own website using custom templates at home but this lesson allowed pupils the opportunity to develop their own web assets from scratch. Pupils spent some time looking at various websites, their layout, functionality and familiarising themselves with website banners as a starting point. They then moved on to house style colours and their importance within the branding of a company.

After a brief introduction on how a domain name system server interacts with a networking client, pupils were asked to create their own website banner. The common theme on websites were a logo, meaningful text and a navigation bar; this is what pupils will need to include in their web design projects. Pupils set to work immediately and were very enthusiastic about creating their own web design.

Y7: Telling a Story in English

Year 7 pupils have been having a wonderful time reading a short story by Michael Morpurgo to help them think about how they would write their own short stories, how it would read and to give them inspiration.

English — Y7 telling a storyPupils then had to plan, draft and tell their own short stories based on an early memory. Once their story was complete pupils had to tell their story to their partner sitting next to them and ask for constructive criticism on what worked well and what they could improve so pupils could use this when writing their final versions. This piece of working is going to be written up as a writing assessment and assessed using our Key Stage Three ARE.

Year 10 College Visit

On Wednesday 11th October twelve pupils studying GCSE German or French went to Peter Symonds for an A-Level taster session. They were taken on a brief tour of the college before the lessons began.

Our pupils enjoyed the experience and their brief taste of college life. Rebecca Wansboro said it was good to see what life at college could be like and enjoyed the German session. Miss Williams was pleased to take such a lovely group of pupils and make further links with Peter Symonds and other schools in the area. We hope some of these pupils will go on to study German at A-Level.

Modern Languages Pupils of the Month

Each month our Modern Languages department choose a ‘pupil of the month’ for each year group based on the progress they are making overall and how hard they are working.

Languages Pupil of the Month

This month the following pupils were successful:

Year 7: Millie Nias

Year 8: Jasmine Saunders

Year 9: Sophie Keable

Year 10: Sam Hunt

Year 11: Corey Penfound

Year 9: Who are You?

Year 9 pupils attended ‘LifeLab’ this week; this was first initiated in 2008 at the University of Southampton. It has continued to develop through the collaboration of researchers from the university to raise young people’s awareness and interest in the science underpinning health issues and make positive changes to health-related attitudes.

Pupils were able to conduct a number of scientific measurements, not possible in a school environment, relating to their current health e.g. BMI, blood pressure, % body fat, blood sugar level, mass, height, lung volume. They found out how their current health could affect their own future as well as the health of their offspring. They had the opportunity to and make pledges on how they could improve health going forward.