Weekly Blog

7th May – 11th May

Ten Years of StockFest

Can you believe StockFest has been running for ten years? Originally it was the brainchild of two Year 11 prefects in 2008 to raise funds for charity close to their hearts. At the time the school had been building a band culture and holding Christmas gigs for about three years. We also had a street dance club, so moving to an outdoor music and dance festival seemed like an idea which could work.

At the time we called upon the chair of the PTA, Trevor Johnson, who had connections with the army and was able to kit us out with a marquee and a number of large tents to support the event. A PA system was sourced and ‘StockFest 1’ went ahead in the Summer of 2009.

The following year, two parents from Winterslow stepped into the ring, Ian McDonald and Steve Haines, who supplied and ran a professional sound system. This took StockFest to a whole new level. The continued support from Trevor, Ian and Steve every year since has ensured that we have an amazing platform every year which our young people can use to celebrate their talents.

StockFest now celebrates talent from all year groups and this year it was great to see some dance acts come back onto the scene. Two Year 7 groups performed some brilliantly choreographed dance acts, which came from our ‘Learn to Learn’ Eisteddfod programme. The Eisteddfod had choreography support this year from Mrs Frost-Langley, one of our LSAs who is also a dance instructor.

StockfestThroughout the week building up to StockFest you would see pupils practising and polishing their performances in preparation for the big event if you peeked in classrooms at break and lunchtimes. It seemed like everywhere I looked on the day, groups of pupils were going through their routines to ensure nothing was left to chance.

Pupils from Years 7, 8 and 9 paired up to perform drum and guitar acts and pupils from our upper school became heroes bringing a range of bands together and blowing us away with their talents. One Year 10 band included friends from other schools to perform in their band. One story stands out for me this year: Corey Penfound is one of our prefects and helped to organise StockFest. He was given a base guitar for Christmas and started teaching himself to play it as a means of ‘downtime’ from the stress of GCSE exam preparation. He played his guitar in the Year 11 bands at StockFest. This was a great achievement in such a short space of time, showing just what can be achieved when you put your mind to it.

In addition to the performances, Year 7 & 8 tutor groups ran a variety of stalls and raised money for a charity to be chosen by the Pupil Council. Many pupils and visitors enjoyed having a go at the various challenges these set to raise money.

As is traditional at StockFest, our staff always pull something out of the bag and this year they formed a band to join in with the performances. Thank you to Mr Wilcox, a keen lead guitarist and member of a local band, who organised the line-up with pupils for StockFest this year. Thank you to school staff for their support throughout the event.

Thank you to the PTA who ran our bbq and tuck-shop. Thank you for the continued support from Trevor, Ian and Steve. I know how fortunate we are to be able to run this event and it seems obvious by the number of pupils who perform and stay after school to support this event, that our pupils value this opportunity for the coming together of our community in a truly celebratory festival way.

Mr Langdown

This Week in Science

Over the past few weeks, pupils have been learning about various properties of rocks during their Science lessons. This week it was time to let the pupils conduct their own findings by designing their own test to compare the properties of rocks. Once they have conducted the tests they will then use this data to design a building, using the properties to choose a rock for a specific purpose. Pupils are always very enthusiastic when the theory work is supported by a practical experiment, not only is it a fun way of learning but it also deepens their understanding of it.

Key Stage One Festival

Test Valley School hosted a KS1 festival involving seven types of movement activity for our visiting younger pupils to take part in. The activities ranged from basic multi skills to parachute games and team building activities. The favourite of all the activities was the gymnastics ‘air track’ which was a giant inflatable which allowed various acrobatics to take place including a rotational roll.

Pupils from four local primary schools enjoyed the variety of activities. The Young Sports Leaders were fully involved in their first leadership event focusing on each activity station and setting challenges for their groups. The Leaders demonstrated the activity and then encouraged their groups to become fully involved in the movement station by teaching the basic skills required. The atmosphere throughout the morning was fantastic with pupils really enjoying the challenge of the various activity stations.

Pupil Council Event

Pupil CouncilTest Valley School had the pleasure of welcoming 21 pupils from some of our local primary schools when we hosted the annual Pupil Council Cluster Event. The pupils who attended are all members of the Pupil Council within their own schools and worked alongside eleven of our own Pupil Council representatives.  The pupils began by getting to know each other in small groups, they discussed their schools as well as hobbies and interests.  During the morning the pupils designed a logo to symbolize what the Pupil Councils were all about and their contribution will be collated to form a logo that will be displayed not only in Test Valley School but also are local primary schools too.  This logo will represent our local Pupil Council forum.  After a short mid-morning break Mrs Bottle from Broughton school delivered a session on the Rights Respecting Schools Award.  This was fantastic and really challenged the pupils into thinking what is a need and what is a want.  Towards the end of the morning the Test Valley pupils also shared their experience of secondary school with the primary school pupils, the younger pupils really enjoyed this and asked many questions about different aspects of school life.  A very big thank you and well done to everyone who participated in this event.  We have already started planning for next year!

Making a Splash this Summer

Making a Splash this SummerMaking a Splash this SummerLast week the swimming pool opened for the Summer Term. We are incredibly fortunate to have such a great facility to use and we plan on making the most of it come rain or shine. Swimming lessons are already taking place during PE sessions and many pupils are having lots of fun during their lunch breaks at the swimming club.