This week saw the return of last year’s Year 11 pupils with their families to collect their GCSE certificates and celebrate their achievements. It was an exciting evening as there were 25 awards to be won, all kindly sponsored by a wide range of local individuals, parish councils and organisations. We were delighted to have Keith Abel, founder of Abel & Cole Ltd, as our Guest of Honour to present our certificates. He also delivered an inspirational speech about the importance of hard work and persistence. It was lovely to see our past pupils to hear about what they are doing now and their plans for the future. Test Valley wishes them all every success in the future.
27th November – 1st December
On Friday 1st December the normal timetable of lessons was collapsed for all year groups and they were involved in a wide range of activities as part of a Personal, Social, Health (Careers) Education Day. We were also delighted to welcome a large number of visitors who kindly gave their time to support and run some of our workshops.
- Year 7 pupils experienced a multicultural day focusing on India. Their workshops included making sand mandalas, creating batik patterns, looking at the differences in living conditions between rural and urban living and they also had a workshop with a Bollywood dancer.
- Pupils in Year 8 took part in their Dream Day event. More details are given separately.
- Year 9 pupils undertook their ‘Change for a Tenner’ challenge. This is an enterprise based day where pupils work in small teams or companies to come up with a money making idea. Each team is given £10 and on the day they have to change their £10 into as much profit as possible. During the course of the morning pupils took on different roles within the company and had to write a business plan, a finance plan and work out how to best market their product. During lunchtime pupils then sell their wares to the rest of the school. As well as a lot of neatly packaged cakes and sweets on sale, there were also glitter tattoos, keyrings and nail painting. This year pupils raised an amazing £2011.42 which will be going to the Alex Lewis Trust.
- Pupils in Year 10 were fortunate to have a whole range of visitors for the day. Their workshops focused on homelessness, budgeting and anti-social behaviour. The homelessness presentation not only provided information on causes, effects and legal aspects but also linked discussions to physical, mental and social well-being. The sessions will contribute to preparing pupils for the adult world and help them become more aware of the community around them.
- Year 11 pupils undertook an enterprise based day entitled Millinery Magic. Pupils worked in teams as the managers of a business. The purpose of the day was for pupils to gain an understanding and appreciation of how businesses have to work within a competitive and collaborative market. As the title suggest the chosen business revolved around the fashion industry and involved transforming existing hats into more creative, attractive and fashionable headgear. The day cumulated with a fashion parade to promote their companies’ products.
On Friday 1st December Year 8 pupils took part in a series of workshops entitled ‘Dream Day’. These were designed to explore lifestyle aspirations and career explorations. The first part of the event enabled pupils to build a dream cloud containing images of their future such as the house, car, pony, yacht, holiday home they may like to own. These were then all costed and followed up by being given an example of a job with details setting out the salary, working hours, holidays, qualifications needed and a day in the life. A range of activities including finding eight other pupils in the room who work more/less hours, have more/less holiday time, receive higher/lower rates of pay and need higher/lower qualifications. The morning session culminated in exploring the costings of their lifestyle choices and contrasting whether they could afford them with the job details they had.
A team from Andover College arrived at midday with ambassadors who shared their journeys with Year 8 pupils before supporting them in the afternoon workshop called ‘Making it Real’. This enabled pupil to drill down and explore their own aspirations before putting together as a presentation of their choosing.
Mr Langdown (Year 8 Co-ordinator/Careers Co-ordinator) said: ‘I really enjoyed celebrating the year group’s ambitions and I was very impressed with their high aspirations and massive range of careers ideas. Their ideas included Stockbroker, Bank Manager, Accountant, Forensic Scientist, Biologist, Royal Navy Officer, Animal Therapist, Police Office, Teacher and Play Therapist. I did not find a single pupil who did not have a career idea. This level of high aspiration, whether fully explored at this stage or not, provides pupils with the motivation to aim high in their learning within the classroom and can only create a win-win situation for everyone’.
Movember is the only charity tackling men’s health on a global scale, year round. They are addressing some of the biggest health issues faced by men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health & suicide prevention. To raise awareness of this many get involved by growing a moustache for November. A number of staff at Test Valley School wanted to get involved to raise awareness with our pupils. Well done to all who took part and helped to raise money for this charity.
Huge congratulations to the Year 9 team from Test Valley School: Eve Wansboro, Cerys Hotchkiss and Keshni Bhoodhoo. They participated in the first round of the Youth Speaks Competition organised by the Rotary Club of Andover. Three other local schools were also competing. Each school’s team comprised a chairperson, a vote of thanks and a main speaker. The main speaker has to deliver a persuasive speech on a topic of their choice lasting six minutes – when you are standing in front of an audience six minutes can feel like a very long time!
Cerys chaired our team’s entry and Eve delivered a persuasive and passionate speech extolling the virtue of exercise for all of us entitled ‘Just do it!’. Eve reminded us of the benefits of exercise, gave us some examples of what we could do and told us that, ‘a note from your mum,’ was not an acceptable excuse! Keshni then delivered the vote of thanks at the end and was awarded the trophy for best vote of thanks on the night – well done!
Well done to Eve, Cerys and Keshni for stepping up to take on this challenge – speaking in public is such an important life-skill and these pupils displayed confidence, articulation and exceptional teamwork.