Test Valley School continues to have close links with the local community and always enjoy supporting them in various events throughout the year. This week the annual Flower Festival was held at St Peter’s Church in Stockbridge. The theme this year was a celebration of the Common wealth. Test Valley School put on a beautiful display linked to our support for a school in Uganda and our fundraising in school to sponsor a pupil’s education each year until recently.
25th June – 29th June
Years 7, 8, 9, and 10 were all involved in different activities for our Summer Term PSHE Day.
Year 7 pupils came to school in the PE kits and took part in a range of activities focusing on a healthy mind and healthy body. Their workshops included one on body image about accepting their bodies as they are; dance (showing how they can be active whilst having fun); taking care of their mental health with our school counsellor; and finally one about how having a healthy lifestyle can also help your mental health, followed by a practical session putting this into practice out on the field.
‘CR8 Day’ is a very active day for our Year 8 pupils with them working in small teams to create an educational toy, supported by business and finance plans and a marketing campaign. Each team presented to the rest of their group and the winning team from each group then presented their prototype and plans to our ‘Dragons’ Den’ – Ms Hiscock (Headteacher), Mrs Watts (School Business Manager) and Mr Allsopp (Head of Technology). All the teams came up with some amazing and original ideas. The overall winning team created an Astronomy Box to teach children about space and the universe in a fun way.
Year 9 workshop programme focused on drug and sexual health education. We were very fortunate to have our local PCSOs come in to deliver an overview on drugs and the dangers of taking drugs, along with an brief overview of drugs laws. Mr Pennicott also delivered an interactive workshop on sexual health and demonstrated to pupils how their perceptions can be altered due to alcohol through the use of special ‘beer goggles’. The day was finished off by an inspiring talk by Shaun Attwood. Shaun is committed to informing young people about the dangers of taking drugs and the consequences that it can lead to.
It is not unusual to engage with agencies to run workshops on PSHE days, but to work in collaboration with an employer to design and deliver an event day is breaking new ground. Year 10 were the first to experience this new collaboration as we were able to plan and work closely on the day with Lloyds Banking Group from Andover. The day included interactive workshops from a wide range of representatives from the world of work, including a number of parents who volunteered their services to share about their own careers. Pupils were also able to investigate Labour Market Information – this sounds like a dry topic, but the App we use is a fast response, fact information comparison platform which enables pupils to compare up to three different career areas simultaneously. This was followed by a careers research App, enabling pupils to dig deeper into specific careers and find out much more about them. The challenge put to pupils was to record details about a career idea they may be considering and then research and record details about an aspirational career idea to contrast.
On Friday 29th June we were joined by three local Councillors and officers from Test Valley Borough Council to host a new event called Democracy Day for local schools. The event was for Key Stage Three pupils from Test Valley School, Mountbatten School and Harrow Way School. After a brief introduction pupils were involved in two workshops looking at what was needed in a Councillor and what information was needed in a manifesto. Both workshops were very interactive for pupils whilst they were earning all about democracy and what the local council offers.
On Thursday 28th June pupils involved with the HBA since March visited Kings School, Winchester for the grand final. The group have been meeting and reading the six shortlisted books and finally got the opportunity to vote for their favourite book. The event is run by Schools’ Library Service and involved 43 Hampshire secondary schools. It was organised so that the pupils from Test Valley School were split into teams with other schools to join in a group discussion about the books. Everyone got involved, chatting and deciding on their favourite. While the votes were being counted everyone enjoyed a quiz. Mrs Needs was very pleased when Suzie Draper and Morgan Evans were on the winning team – bringing a pile of lovely new books back to the library to be enjoyed by everyone.
There was much excitement and drum role in the room before the winning book was announced as ‘Instructions for a Second Hand Heart’ by Tamsyn Murray. The book is about two teenagers who are brought together by the death of Niamh’s brother and means that Jonny can finally have the heart transplant that will save his life. But love, like life, is unpredictable, so Niamh and Jonny are about to let their hearts rule their heads. A brilliant read, available in the school library along with the other five shortlisted books, so come and take a look!
This week Test Valley School hosted its Year 5 Taster Day for pupils from over 25 different primary schools. The day is to give them a taster of what life is like at Test Valley School. The theme of their day this year was an Italian Day. Pupils were able to take part in a number of activities including making pizza, learning about ‘Romeo & Juliet’, learning phrases and numbers in Italian and have a swimming lesson in our wonderful outdoor pool. It really was a lovely day and pupils enjoyed themselves very much, all going home with a certificate on completing the day. Their parents were also able to join us in the morning for a tour of the school with our new prefect team and return before the end of the day for a lively presentation by Year 5 pupils and their teachers on their activities.
Year 10 Geographers visited Hengistbury Head in Dorset as part of their GCSE course. Pupils investigated how various risks are being managed. As a stretch of coastline with one of the highest rates of erosion in the South of England the local authorities and the Environment Agency spend millions of pounds each year reducing the impact of this erosion. Pupils evaluated how effective this is. They also investigated how the risk to people posed by the coastline is managed and learnt why it is unwise to walk or sit at the base of the cliffs.
Finally, pupils evaluated how the risk to the environment caused by people is being managed. The area of coastline is truly beautiful and pupils were amazed by the lengths that some people will go to in order to spend time there. There are many beach huts on the spit, one of which is currently for sale for £300,000!