Writhlington pupils team up with scientists from Kent University to launch major national exhibit.
Pupils at Writhlington School are working with academics from Kent University’s Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology to develop a dramatic new exhibit about conservation which will tour the UK during 2014.
The Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) is Britain’s leading research and postgraduate training centre dedicated to conserving biodiversity and the ecological processes which support ecosystems and people. It has teamed up with Writhlington to highlight the international impact of Writhlington’s global Orchid Project and to draw on the expertise of Writhlington pupils.
Fourteen year old pupil Aaron Rabbits explained; “We spent a whole day with Dr David Roberts and Amy Hinsley from DICE during which they shared their knowledge of conservation and the Convention on Biological Diversity. We were able to share our experiences of working with orchids and helping in tropical countries.”
The joint project is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council and will culminate in a conservation exhibit at London’s International Orchid Show in April. Thirteen year old Emily Thearle describes planning the exhibit as “the most exciting thing I have ever done. Our unique exhibit will include our best orchids as well as the latest research about conservation and making a difference to our planet.”
After London the exhibit will feature in a number of events around the UK giving pupils the opportunity to get their message across to thousands of people.
Dr Roberts described the workshop at Writhlington as an inspiring day and hopes that the partnership between Kent University and Writhlington will continue to grow and flourish.
In a world of technology and gadgets, it is becoming increasingly hard to get young people to engage with reading - but a new initiative at Writhlington has managed to do just that.
Extreme reading was introduced to students across all year groups and a competition launched to encourage students to pick up a book and get excited about reading. The challenge was to take a picture of yourself or a friend reading in unusual places.
Entries from across the school came flooding in with students performing stunts on bikes and horses and scaling buildings to reach obscure locations. But it wasn’t just students who were getting excited about reading - entries began appearing from as far as the army camps in Afghanistan!
Matthew Graham Heavy vehicle mechanical engineer – Afghanistan said:
A friend of mine told me about the competition and I thought it was a really great idea. There is a lot of off-duty time in Afghanistan so we are always reading something. It really is a great way of escaping where you are and using your time profitably. We decided to have a go and send some pictures to encourage the students.
Writhlington School Library donated Kindle Fire HD as first prize plus additional prizes of Amazon and iTunes vouchers. The competition is the launch of a new series of reading initiatives across the school.
Associate Head Maddy Flagg said:
We were delighted with the imaginative \'extreme reading\' entries from our students who really embraced the challenge, coming up with some fabulous photographs. We plan to make a number of them into posters with slogans promoting reading for pleasure across the school. Students were inspired by extreme reading photographs of their teachers, friends, family plus entries from abroad.
Studies have shown that students who read regularly also do well academically and this is just one of the activities planned to encourage Writhlington students to pick up a book. We have a brand new library and librarian at school this year and we are working hard to entice as many students and staff to make use of the library as possible.”
Competition winners were announced during morning assemblies and their pictures turned into posters to be displayed around the school to promote reading at school and at home.
First place was awarded to Year Seven student Isabela Lamb who was pictured leaning across her low-rise chimney wearing a Santa hat. In Second place was Jack Phillips who was pictured on the top of an armchair being carried by a forklift truck and third place was awarded to Megan Blackmar performing the ultimate balancing act of horse jumping and reading!
To see the winning entries please visit the ‘Week in Pictures’ on the Writhlington website.
The UK Youth Parliament was first established in 1998 when a group of young people aged between eleven and eighteen decided that it was time they had a parliamentary voice which would be valued and listened to by local, regional and national government. The idea was backed by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and campaigns launched to begin an important movement by young people across the United Kingdom.
This year Writhlington Sixth form student Edward Joseph is running for the B&NES Youth Parliament position and is campaigning for farer and consistent public transport prices, advanced technical intervention for rural communities and the re-introduction of work experience placement schemes for students at school.
Edward took a few minutes of time away from his busy campaign schedule to answer some of our questions.
How did you first hear about UKYP
I first heard of UKYP when my friend William Bridges was elected as the MYP for North East Somerset. He was a really inspiring candidate who captured the thoughts and views of his peers and really strived for success. His dedication to the cause inspired me to take an interest. I am very excited that it’s now my turn to take the lead and become the voice of my fellow peers.
Have you always had an interest in politics?
I have always had a keen interest in politics. From a young age I have followed local campaigns and kept up to date with politics in the media.
I also study A Level politics. My teacher Miss Giddings has been very supportive and has prepared me really well for my campaign.
What has the process been like so far?
We live in a society where individual opinions are valued and young people today are passionate, more independent and are not frightened to stand up for their beliefs. Competition to be elected to the UKYP becomes increasingly harder every year. I attended an eight hour workshop with peers selected from 100s of applications and they spent the day with us before selecting just six candidates for election.
What do you hope to achieve if you get elected?
I have three main aims if elected as MYP:
• Align the current age brackets with those recognized by law so that young people are not paying adult prices on public transport. This will include a re-evaluation of the travel allowances for those aged 60-65 to reflect the increased retirement age and create allowances for young people.
• Push forward plans for fiber optic internet in rural areas and encourage the recognition and need for development in rural areas.
• Re-introduce the work experience scheme in Key Stage Three and Four. This would allow students to make more informed decisions about choices both academically and in terms of job prospects.
Are you considering a career in politics in the future?
Absolutely. I am currently studying A Level politics and it is really fueling my passion for politics. I am hoping that I will get the opportunity to study it at degree level.
What will it mean to you to get elected?
Getting elected will mean a lot to me. I feel very passionately about the voice of my peers being heard. It will also be a great step up the political ladder and will hopefully be the catalyst to a successful political career.
How much work have you put in leading up to elections?
I have attended workshops which teach successful canvasing techniques. I have embarked on a major campaign making sure that I am well represented across the whole school and throughout my local area. I have also attended public speaking workshops to perfect the way I address my peers. It has been hard going, but I can only imagine this is just the beginning and if elected there is a whole lot more of hard work ahead! – I can’t wait.
For orchid growers all throughout England, January is a very exciting time. While most of us are fighting through the January post Christmas blues, orchid growers everywhere are preparing for the Royal Horticultural Societys Orchid Trophy award. This award is given each January to the grower of the best orchid specimen of 2013.
This year saw the Award go to one of Writhlingtons most seasoned Orchid specialists - fifteen year old Jacob Coles. Jacob will receive his trophy at the Royal Horticultural Societys Awards Ceremony in Westminster.
Jacob describes the plant as follows: “ It is a fantastic specimen. It has been growing at Writhlington since 1993 and it is now enormous with over one hundred and eighty flowers when it was in full bloom last spring.”
The spectacular orchid will be flowering again in time for Writhlingtons next orchid open evening on March 6th with spectators and orchid enthusiasts invited to attend between 5-9pm.
Teacher Simon Pugh-Jones said: “Jacob is an exceptional orchid grower and really deserves this national award. We as a school are very proud and feel honored that we have had the chance to nurture his talents. ”
While most of us are busy planning our Summer holidays, twenty two members of our Sixth Form are planning fundraising events to raise money towards a trip of a lifetime.
Students will be traveling to Tanzania in Africa to work along side the charity Moving Mountains. The charity was first established in 1991 to provide aid for the relief of hardship and inequality for children and adults through education and vocational training, medical treatment, sport and employment.
While out there students will take part in the renovation and building of new classrooms, work with children from orphanages, community centres and on an environmental project.
Charlotte Webb said:
‘Its not about quick fixes. The charity provides sustainable resources for families and towns. They monitor the positive socio-economic impact of our work and helps to support bordering villages – it’s going to be such a rewarding experience and I can’t wait to go. I will be skydiving in the Spring to raise funds for our charity donation.’
After the hugely successful ‘Taste of Africa Evening’ students have arranged a series of events to take them through to the summer.
This term Year 12 and 13 students will be hosting a ‘Quiz Night’, an evening of mind-boggling trivia and classic quiz games. The quiz takes place on January 31 at 7.30pm. All ages and quizzing abilities welcome with teams no bigger than six.
The bar will be open from 7.00pm offering a wide variety of beverages and bar snacks including cheese platters for all your brain food needs.
To avoid disappointment book your tickets via email email@example.com Teams cost £2.50 per person with all money raised going towards the Moving Mountains Charity
Drama teacher and assistant trip co-ordinator James Moore said:
‘It’s really inspiring to see so many students willing to give up weeks of their summer and months of preparation time to help people in other countries. Not only are they paying the full cost of their flights, they are raising a substantial amount of money in support of the charity. I really hope to see friends and families of these wonderful students coming along to support. Of course everyone else is welcome too!’
Writhlington school welcomed British Judo Champion Tom Reed to their Sports Centre this week to inspire some of its budding athletes.
Last year, students from across all year groups were nominated for upholding the British Olympic values within the school sporting community. Writhlington’s sports department take great pride in nurturing every student no matter what level of skill and fostering a passion for sports and creativity.
Tom Reed has long been one of Britain\\\\\\\'s most exciting judo performers, possessing an explosive arsenal of throws that make him a crowd favourite. After claiming silver in the British Championships, Tom joined the ‘Living For Sports’ Sky Sports initiative aimed at engaging secondary students in sports and school community.
Students took part in workshops, learning the six key skills to creating success: mental toughness, hunger to achieve, people skills, sports and life knowledge, breaking barriers and planning for success. These attributes help young people develop valuable life skills that will aid them in and outside of school, now and into the future.
While Tom demonstrated different judo techniques, students had the opportunity not only to try these out on each other but also on Tom himself.
Year 8 student and fellow GB Athlete Corey Walkes said:
‘It was a brilliant day. I know how hard training is, so could really appreciate the wisdom and knowledge he was passing down. We all had such fun taking part and it was really great opportunity to work alongside a top class professional athlete.’
Sixth form and year eleven students visited London this week to gain a better understanding of the workings of Parliament.
Students studying politics and year eleven students selected from the gifted and talented scheme spent the day in Parliament houses studying the workings of Parliament life and gained insight into live debate during parliamentary meetings at Portcullis house.
Students were given a tour around the impressive buildings and taken to places of great historical importance, such as the courtrooms where Charles the first was tried and convicted.
They then had the opportunity to watch a debate about the Offenders Rehabilitation Bill in the Commons and Army recruitment being debated in the Lords.
Head of Politics Nicola Giddings said:
\'\'I was thrilled with how much enjoyment the students got out of the visit to Parliament, particularly the workshop, it was great to see them sharing their experiences with other students once we returned to school. I can\'t wait for next years trip - proof that Politics is not dull!\'\'
The tour was followed by an engaging workshop on electoral systems that inspired our students to think about voting in the future. Local MP Jacob Rees-Mogg held a question and answer session giving students the opportunity to explore parliament life in more depth and discover the passion and hard work behind running for local MP.
Writhlington’s Under 15 girls cricket team were victorious in their early stage matches in the Lady Taverners Cricket Competition.
Since 2003, the Lady Taverners U15 girls cricket competition has given over 75,000 girls the opportunity to participate in cricket, many for the first time. The UKs only national girls-only cricket competitions provide a vital pathway for grassroots girls cricket, introducing participants to local clubs and development programmes.
Writhlington played exceptionally well led by Captain Anna lee, against two high quality Bath private school teams. As the games began Writhlington looked on as Kingswood beat King Edwards with an impressive 124 runs to 54 setting the bar to qualify very high.
Team Captain Anna Lee said:
‘We were nervous about playing these two schools as they both have very good sporting reputations and a number of their girls play at county level. They were great games and I am very proud of our teams performance.’
Writhlington had an excellent game restricting Kigswood to ninety eight runs with Abi Tonks taking three wickets in the last over. Intelligent running between wickets saw Writhlington come out on top with two overs to spare.
The final game saw King Edwards school post seventy eight on the score board, with wickets falling steadily. Writhlington showed no relent and battled through playing a skilled and steady game that led them safely home with three overs to go. The team have now qualified for the next round of the Lady Taverners Competition which will take place later in the term.
Head of PE Ben Naunton said: Girls cricket continues to grow at Writhlington. The dedication and commitment these girls have shown over the past four years has been reflected in their success in this tournament and shown that we can compete successfully at the highest level against state and private schools.
Members of the Writhlington Orchid Club spent their Christmas holidays designing a new exhibit to be displayed at Cambridge University. The unique design inspired by the research carried out in the Himalayas will showcase in the university’s Botanic gardens the students’ most profound work to date.
In March 2013 Cambridge asked advice from Writhlington’s most seasoned orchid growers about ideas for a new scientific orchid display at the University.
A team of six students took on the challenge of researching and designing a unique environment which could exhibit orchids grown in some of the World’s most diverse forests in as natural a way as possible.
The first step was to travel five thousand miles to the Himalayan Indian state of Sikkim, where students explored remote forests to record the epiphytic micro-habitats where key orchid species grow in the wild.
A Level Biology student Heather Limond explained,
“ Books about plants will tell you where a plant grows in the wild but with very little detail. Our aim was to identify the altitude, the type of forest, the part of the canopy, even the amount of moss present around the roots. We then collated this data and combined it with what we know from growing the same species at Writhlington to plan and design the Cambridge exhibit.”
Cambridge will use plants grown at Writhlington to fill their specially built trees and each plant will be nurtured in the correct environment.
Cambridge Glasshouse Supervisor Alex Summers is delighted with the plans:
“This will be a unique exhibit.” he said, “As well as being really educational for our visitors, putting the plants in exactly the right conditions will ensure that they thrive and provide a long term attraction to the Gardens.”
Writhlington students have also been published in horticultural journals and won the team a place at the finals of the UK Science and Engineering competition.
A Level Physics student Devin Read said,
“We are thrilled that our project has made it into the finals of this year\\\'s National Science and Engineering Competition and we can’t wait to get to The Big Bang Fair in Birmingham this March. It has been rewarding to carry out research in the Himalayas and then be able to apply what we have learnt to design the new exhibit at Cambridge University Botanic Gardens.”
While most of us curled up in front of the TV after a new year feast surrounded by our nearest and dearest, Writhlington student Lucy White was plunging into the arctic conditions of the Pacific Ocean.
Whilst on a trip to Canada to visit family, Year Eleven student Lucy decided to take on the ‘Polar Bear Challenge’ on the English Bay of Vancouver.
The annual competition, held on New Year’s Day, sees hundreds of swimmers embracing subzero conditions to swim just fifty meters to the finish line. Waters often still frozen over from the harsh winter, challenges even the very best athletes to swim the short distance.
Lucy, who recently swam the English Channel as part of a 7-piece relay, braved the cold waters with her dad Marcus White completing second in the female category. Many of the thousands of competitors only reached ankle deep before retreating back to the warm.
‘It was such an exhilarating experience. When we swam the channel we had to qualify through a two hour swim in cold waters. This was so much colder. I don’t think I will ever need to wear a wetsuit in English waters again!’
On Friday 6 December, seventeen A Level PE students visited Bath University to see what courses were available to them and what they entailed once they had completed their A Levels.
The day started full of energy with students completing field tests, which included the yo-yo test, 5 by 5 test, jump test and speed tests. This certainly brought out the competitive nature in the students, with some exceptional performances, particularly by Matt Caddywould and Mr. Bailey!
They collected data on their progress and took to the labs to analyse and find a greater understanding about the biological effect exercise has on the body. Luke Targett became the subject for the VO2 Max test (a test that forces you to run on a treadmill until you are no longer able to.) Luke had his blood lactate tested as well as his oxygen consumption. He was pleased to learn that his results were comparable to that of a professional footballer. Holly Francis also took the leap and participated in the Wingate test, which is a maximal power test on a bike. Although Chris Hoys scores were about fifteen times that of Hollys, she enabled the group to draw some interesting comparisons.
Assistant Head of PE Helen Earle said:
\"This insight into the world of sport science gave the students the opportunity to consolidate their understanding of the physiological aspects of the course, as well as opening their eyes to future employment prospects\"
The day finished with a lecture on principles of training and an overview of the sports science set-up at the university, which featured some very interesting careers which appealed to our students.
This month Writhlington celebrates the official naming of a brand new orchid hybrid raised at the school.
Callum Swift, now aged twenty-four, was just fifteen when he first successfully made a cross between two charismatic orchid species from South America. After nine years of careful nurturing and care, Callum’s orchid has finally flowered allowing official registration with the Royal Horticultural to take place.
Callum visited Writhlington as soon has he heard that his orchid had flowered:
“I knew when I made the cross that it would be years before it flowered and now I’m really proud of what I have achieved. I imagine this is the feeling you get when you have a child for the first time – I feel like a dad!”
Callum decided to name his new orchid Oncidium School Days, dedicating the orchid to his memories of Writhlington and its new generation of orchid growers.
‘I can’t begin to tell you how much being part of the Orchid Project benefited my time at Writhlington. The students are really lucky to have those opportunities and to be taught by a really inspiring teacher’
Orchid Christmas is from 6pm until 9pm on Thursday 12 December and will be an opportunity to buy orchids and Rwandan crafts for Christmas as well as enjoy a party atmosphere in the Writhlington Greenhouses.
Teacher Simon Pugh-Jones MBE explained “Orchid Christmas is a public event with mince pies, mulled wine and all the festive delights needed to hot a magical evening. It is a great opportunity to celebrate our Orchid Project and the achievements of our students.”
Writhlington was chosen as one of the first schools to receive professional coaching from players at Bath Rugby.
The Bath Rugby’s Secondary Schools\' programme was launched this September, aiming to offer tuition to young talented players from Bath and North East Somerset schools.
The classes, facilitated by seasoned professionals, will be tailored to each school harnessing their strengths and challenging their areas for development.
Head of PE Ben Naunton said
\"We have had such a great season so far and there are some really talented players here. I am very excited that they will get the opportunity to showcase their abilities to the Bath players and learn valuable skills.\"
So far the teams have received coaching from rising Bath Rugby stars Tom Dunn and Ollie Devoto and have been working on key skills including scrummaging and lineouts
Bath Player Tom Dunn commented:
\'I had a great time coming into the school and meeting the pupils. They were really keen to learn and I was more than happy to share my knowledge of the scrum. It is hugely important, especially at a young age, to learn the safe and correct way to scrummage.”
After a great season so far for Writhlington teams, students look forward to putting their new skills into practice for the final cup matches.
Writhlington student Amelia Dyer 15, from Frome took part in one of the most important events in the target shooting calendar. The Surrey Open, an Air Rifle and Pistol competition, is run at the National Shooting Centre, Bisley each year and attracts competitors of all levels from across Great Britain. With the 2014 Commonwealth Games less than a year away, this year’s entrants saw some of the top names in British shooting taking part in a bid to secure a place on the GB Shooting Team.
Amelia took part in three matches over the weekend and, in her first match of the competition, she achieved a Match Qualifying Score (and new Personal Best by an incredible 31 points) of 385 ex.400. This put her into 6th position overall and secured her a place in the final. With another high score in her second competition, Amelia was rewarded at the end of the weekend with Gold and Silver achievement medals.
The Surrey Open’s results are used to evaluate a shooter’s performance with a view to Great Britain selection in international competitions, including the Commonwealth and Olympic Games, and the final was run under the same conditions as Olympic shooting events.
Amelia said, “I was both nervous and excited that my score had qualified me to take part in the final, especially when I was in a line up of some of this country’s top women shooters, all looking for a place on the GB Team for the Commonwealth Games next year. However, my training with the GB Junior Rifle Squad paid off and helped me keep my nerve”.
Amelia is now back in training in order to prepare for the first of next year’s competitions, the Geoff Partridge Memorial Trophy competition in January, closely followed by the British Air Gun Championships in February.
Every November across the world, thousands of brave individuals take on the challenge of growing a moustache for thirty days.
Disowned by partners and loved ones for an entire month, men gather together in hope of changing the face of men’s health
While the teachers band together to create their Mo-teams, students decided it was time they did something to join in the fun.
As most students are unable to grow their own successful moustaches, they decided they could raise awareness in other ways.
The Learning to lead fundraising team organised a Movember Fun Run. Inspired by their very successful Race for Life event in the summer, the team invited all boys to run, jog and walk the five-kilometre challenge-gaining sponsors from friends and family.
Assistant Head Mark Bridges said:
‘ It was a great turn out. There were freezing conditions outside but the boys still came in shorts, t-shirts and high spirits’
The boys not only wanted to raise money and awareness but had another goal set in mind too.
Year Eight student Lewis Bond-Kendall said:
‘ My friend Chloe Derrick came first in the girls’ Race for Life in the summer so I really wanted to beat her time. Unfortunately she beat me by just over a minute but I am still very proud of her and of what I achieved. Everyone did really well. It was such a fun morning’
The boys ran the race in impressive times. The fastest time for completing the run was recorded by year 10 student Joe Blakely in 18.01 minutes, closely followed by Sixth Form student Harry Bone in 18.35 minutes.
To date students have raised almost two hundred pounds and are still collecting sponsorship. After two successful sponsored runs, the Learning to Lead team have already started to plan next year’s event.
Well done to Owen Pass who came 1st in a RDA Dressage Competition held at Avon Riding Centre in Bristol on the 1 November 2013. Owen who rode Dolly had a score of 146.5 out of a total of 180, which is a brilliant result.
Avon Riding Centre provides the positive experience and proven therapeutic benefits of horse riding to hundreds of children and adults with a wide range of complex additional ability needs each year.
Year 10 student Owen Pass was awarded First Place in the RDA dressage competition held at Avon Riding Centre in Bristol. Owen scored an impressive 146.5 marks out of 180 in his first equestrian competition.
‘ This was a really fun experience. I love horse riding and it is a really good opportunity for me to get out and do fun things.
I am really surprised I came first. It’s quite hard to judge the 10 meter parade circle but I was delighted with the final result’
Corey Walkes arrived home from the twenty-second World Age Group Trampoline Championships 2013, which was held in Sofia, Bulgaria, with another top performance under his belt.
After months of intense training with High Flyers Trampoline Club in Cheddar under the excellent guidance of Head HPC Coach, Sue Bramble, Corey has ranked 7th in the world, in trampolining for his age group.
There were eight hundred competitors from forty seven countries taking part in the Juniors’ equivalent of the World Championships, which spanned all Trampoline disciplines, Individual and Synchronised Trampoline, Double Mini-Trampoline (DMT) and Tumbling, in four age groups: 11-12 years, 13-14 years, 15-16 years and 17-18 years.
For Corey, this was his first time competing for Great Britain on an international level and the experience was definitely one to remember.
\"I have had the time of my life. I have met so many new people who share my passion for trampolining it’s been incredible!.\"
Corey held the lead in the 11/12 boys age category right up until the last two Russian competitors competed in the preliminary rounds, putting him in 3rd place going into the final. The top 8 then went onto compete later in the evening in an intense final round where Corey unfortunately overpowered his 3rd move, sending him into 7th place.
\"I tried to put everything into my final routine and unfortunately the adrenaline kicked in a little too much! I am still very happy as I achieved my personal goal of a place in the final.\"
Corey and his family would like to say a huge \'thank you\' to everyone who has supported him in competing for Great Britain.
Sixth form student Francesca Beg, is off to the United States this January to begin her career in University tennis.
Francesca, who joined Writhlington last september gaining a place on the tennis training programmes usually reserved for year twelve students, has been offered a place at one of the leading universities for sporting excellence in America.
Francesca took some time out of her busy training schedule to answer a few of our questions!
How long have you been playing tennis for?
I have played and enjoyed tennis all my life. My dad loved tennis and would spend hours with me in our back garden, dropping a tennis ball in front of me and telling me when to swing so that I could develop good timing and hand eye coordination.
When did you realise that you really loved the game?
My love for the game started with my dad in my back garden. I quickly joined two group squads for children my age at Bath University and then at our local club, near where I live in Leighton, Westbury. It just blossomed from there.
When did you realise you have real flair and talent for the game?
From the very beginning I was far more advanced than children my age, I could hold a rally and hit a ball, which sounds simple but for someone my age to have such good hand eye co-ordination was quite rare.
When did it all really start kicking off for you?
It all kicked off in 2011 when, having joined Writhlignton tennis club when I was nine, I had progressed quickly through the different ability groups. I began competing in big competitions and doing really well. It was suggested that I join the Bath University development squad so that I could compete against more people of my ability to improve my game and increase my ranking.
What made you choose Writhlington sixth form?
I knew that in order for me to progress with my tennis and achieve well academically, I would have to find a balance. The tennis programme held at Writhlington was the perfect opportunity. The coaches already knew my potential and Writhlington had a brilliant reputation for its Sixth Form courses. It was an important choice and now a whole new world of opportunities has opened for me.
So what are your future plans?
Thanks to the help of my coaches, Amanda Stonier and Mandy Baldwin, I have won a university scholarship in America. I applied through the organization ‘Tennis Smart’. It was a rigorous process and I had to take the SATS test and send footage of me playing.
I was quickly offered thirteen scholarships and after narrowing it down I have decided to go to Augustana in South Dakota.
I\\\\\\\'m so excited and grateful for this incredible opportunity to start a whole new chapter of my life. It seems that my hard work through the years is really starting to pay off! If it hadn\\\\\\\'t have been for the amazing coaches, staff, volunteers and people at Writhlington, I wouldn\\\\\\\'t have stayed in the sport and got to where I am today
After weeks of rigorous trials Year Seven student Mason Harrison has just been selected to train with the Welsh National football team
Mason, who currently plays for Southampton FC, was selected from a large group of very talented hopefuls from across the UK to train with the team.
Professional players including Ryan Giggs and Gareth Bale played for the Welsh National under 21 team before hitting the Premiership and European stage .
Having shown great potential, Mason will travel to Newport, Wales once a week to train with the team.
‘ I am really excited to have been selected. There are some amazing players who started off playing for the Welsh National team. I really hope I will get the chance to play in the Premiership one day’
Writhlington provides the very best opportunities to excel in extra curricular activities.
Our sports department offers many lunchtime and afterschool activities for students, with some of the best coaching available our teams have had an outstanding first half of term.
Both Year Eight and Year Nine rugby teams competed in the BANES league, finishing top of the league with an unscathed record.
The Year Elevens had another great season narrowly missing the chance to defend their title in the Super 8s tournament after losing to St Gregorys School.
The Year 9s are having a very successful football season in the English School National Football Association cup, reaching round 5 of the competition recently after beating Backwell school 7-2. With just a few more games left the team look set for a very successful season.
The Year Seven Netball teams are storming through games with an unbeaten record and are proving to be the top team in the district. Year Eight and Nine netball teams have played 13 games with mixed fortunes, won 7, drawn 1 and lost 5 of their matches.
Head of PE Ben Naunton said:
Our teams are really passionate about the sports they play. Their determination and commitment to every game and training session is second to none. Its a busy time for our sports department and I would really like to thank the staff who organize and run all the sports sessions for the students
Writhlington’s very own producer Daniel Harper who has been nominated three years in a row for the Songlines World Music Awards 2012 has created professional opportunities for students at Writhlington.
Daniel’s critically acclaimed album Tiga Tej Tiba has already created a buzz nationally and a Swiss music channel requested a music video which will be aired through music outlets across the world.
Daniel Harper said:
‘This video request was a really great opportunity to share my achievements with students. I had to work from the very bottom to get where I am today. It’s a really tough industry to crack so I know how important these opportunities can be’
Media Students Mitch Williams and Harry Henderson both want to work in the film industry. They took to Frome’s hidden tunnels under the town bridge to begin filming under the expert guidance of both Dan Harper and Director Ryan Coyle.
Sixth Form student Mitch Summers said:
‘We were really honored to be given the opportunity. Not only did we gain practical skills, but also acquired important media knowledge from seasoned professionals in the field.’
Year Ten Drama students launched themselves into one of the most challenging nationwide events in the UK.
The Shakespeare School Festival inspires over seventeen thousand students each year to embrace his complicated yet beautiful language and perform in professional theatres across the country.
Writhlington students took on ‘The Tempest’, a compelling story of power, control, revenge and forgiveness. Rehearsing both in class and after school, students performed with spectacular effort and produced a thrilling contemporary piece loved by all.
Head of Drama Helena Greenlees said:
We are very proud of our students. The language of Shakespeare is both difficult to learn and also requires a high level of ability. They performed with great finesse and were great ambassadors for the school’
Special congratulations and a huge thank you from the GCSE class went to Year Eleven student Peter Seal who took on the lead role of Ferdinand and memorized his entire script in less than 24 hours.
As a child you are used to your parents making decisions for you, but what happens when suddenly you are faced with a choice that could affect the rest of your life?
The subjects you choose at GCSE directly impact where you go in life, what career you choose and if you go to university.
Students attended a whole day seminar with leading experts in employment LV, discovering how to make the decision which best suits their journey.
After filling in an online questionnaire, students were provided with a Motivational Map, designed to their specific needs and encouraged to discuss their pathways through a series of group and independent activities.
Buisness studies teacher Rebecca Heppinstal said:
‘ This is the first big decision students will have to make. We hope that with guidance from both ourselves and their parents, they will be making decisions that really empower them for the future’
Students left feeling excited about the journey ahead and more confident in their ability to make the right choices to be able to follow their chosen careers.
Five Writhlington Sixth Form students were chosen to play for Bath City First Team against Larkhall Athletic in the Somerset Premier cup.
Writhlington students Ryan Mitchell, Jordan Ricketts, Nathan Legge, Elliott Gibbons and Jake Miller, played in the teeth-gritting game where a goal in the final minute of extra time saw City overcome Larkhall Athletic.
It was an even match against the high-flying Western League side after Larks keeper spilled the ball only for Jake Miller to fire wide of the unguarded goal. The visitors began to look more threatening as the second half progressed and when Lyons headed home a 75th minute corner it looked as if they were on course to win the first competitive meeting between the Bath clubs. However, six minutes later a stunning 25-yard shot by Aaron Brown levelled the scores. Just when the game looked destined for penalties, City broke forward and James Fisher slotted the rebound home to secure City a quarter-final place.
Head of Sixth Form Steve Cantrell said, “We love hearing about the success of our students outside of school. It sounded like a thrilling match. The boys should be very proud of themselves; they are an asset to the school and make great role models for our own teams wanting to compete professionally”.
Writhlington Sixth Form students visited the National Tennis Centre in London this week to talk to professional coaches and train with some of the best in the sport.
Students were greeted by Christine Sprowell, Head of Further Education for the Tennis Foundation, and given a tour around the extensive facilities. The tour included all the indoor acrylic courts, offices, altitude centre and gyms used by well-known faces of the tennis world such as Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal.
Year Twelve student Tom Hunt said:
‘It was an amazing experience. Andy Murray and David Beckham were training there just days before. There were life-size models of Rafael Ndal. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. It was just brilliant and really informative.’
After the tour, students had the opportunity to join in with a cardio tennis session. Cardio Tennis is a high-energy fitness activity which combines the best features of the sport of tennis with cardio-vascular exercise, delivering the ultimate full body calorie burning aerobic workout.
George Donnelly, Head of Competitions UK, held a short conference with the students where they shared ideas about engaging their age group into sports such as tennis and how to maintain participation in sport .
Head of tennis at Writhlington Amanda Stonier said:
‘This is the first of several trips we plan for the tennis squad to give them an insight into working within sport and the business opportunities available. The major principle behind the 6th Form sporting opportunities at Writhlington is to ensure that students have a full formal programme of study, as well as enjoying the benefits of being involved in tennis.
All the students involved were a credit to the school. We would like to thank Christine Sprowell from the Tennis Foundation for hosting the day and allowing our students to have access to the superb facilities of the National Tennis Centre.
Writhlington strives to provide students with endless opportunities for extra curricular activities.
This year Writhlington launches its Outdoor Education programme, starting with registration for the Duke of Edinburgh Award and Ten Tors Challenge.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award is designed to encourage students to take part in extra-curricular activities, community outreach work, charity work and outdoor pursuits. Universities and employers look favorably on those who have completed these awards as they show a multitude of skills and competencies.
Those undertaking the Gold award will have the opportunity to take their expedition on international terrain. Students this year will get to choose between the French Alps, Tanzania and The Lake District.
Outdoor coordinator Jamie Comber said:
“I remember doing these awards when I was at school. They were brilliant fun to do with your friends and you gained a lot of experience without realising it”
“If it’s not hard it’s not worth doing” is the motto of this year’s Ten Tors Challenge. Students who competed last year could not agree more. With training just around the corner, students are gearing up to compete for a place on the Ten Tors 2014 team.
Year 11 student Nicole Poole said:
“Hundreds of people compete in Ten Tors and it’s one of the hardest things I have ever done. It’s an amazing experience and you make great friends along the way. If it wasn’t for my GCSEs I would be doing it again this year!”
For more information on the outdoor activities at Writhlington please see Mr Comber.
Judo is a fascinating Olympic sport. More than that, it is an art form. It is now practiced in almost every country of the world.
Year Nine student Regan Watkins has shown great strength, resilience and dedication in his preparations for the Somerset Judo Open competition.
Regan was up against a number of athletes who had already won judo competitions at an international level. He performed exceptionally well in a very competitive and hard fought weight category and won a Bronze medal.
For the third year running, Writhlington will be participating in the Bath–Suzhou Educational Partnership (BSEP). The project involves students from China attending schools in the local area, including Writhlington, and students from this area making a similar trip to China. BSEP enables students involved in the project to experience a broader and enhanced curriculum as they witness first-hand the differences in culture and ethos, providing an exciting opportunity for their personal and academic development. The project aims to develop strong and sustainable educational links between schools in Bath and Suzhou New District.
It is anticipated that a group of 20 Chinese students will arrive in the United Kingdom on Tuesday 22 April 2014 and will remain here until Sunday 20 July 2014. During their stay, they will be accommodated by families wishing to take part in the programme.
If you are a interested in hosting a Chinese student please visit the China Exchange website www.wsbe.org.uk/china or contact Mrs R Clarke-Dodgson, China Link Coordinator on firstname.lastname@example.org
Writhlington’s GB athlete Corey Walkes received some exciting news at the weekend. Following his recent success, Corey has been selected as a finalist in the Bath Young Sports Personality of the Year 2013. With Corey away competing in the Bulgarian Trampolining finals, he won’t be able to attend the event at Bath Race Course on 13 November 13, however siblings, Daniella, Jasmine and Oliver have been invited to represent their younger brother in his absence.
Corey trains daily with coach, Susan Bramble of the High Flyers Trampoline Club, in the gym and at home, in preparation for the most important and challenging competition yet.
Corey said ‘I am so honoured to have been nominated; I get to practise non-stop doing something I love. It’s really hard work but rewarding all at the same time.’
Corey has remained incredibly focused and is going above and beyond what he thought he could achieve.
Want to know more about Corey’s incredible story?
Follow the link:
Tom Lilley has recently been appointed at Writhlington’s Student Liaison Officer for China in recognition of his involvement in the China Exchange Project since it started in 2011.
In the last two years Tom has hosted Chinese students and worked closely with visiting groups of students and their teachers. Tom is a keen student of Mandarin and has even managed to learn to rap in Mandarin, performing alongside last year’s group of Chinese students in their farewell presentation.
Tom will be working closely with Mr Burr, Assistant Head and Mrs Clarke-Dodgson, China link Coordinator to develop the link within school.
If you wish to find out more about the Bath-Suzhou Project please visit our website at www.wsbe.org.uk/china or email Mrs Rachel Clarke-Dodgson at email@example.com
As part of the Bath-Suzhou Exchange partnership Writhlington are hosting two Chinese teachers, Qiu Chenlong (William) and Gu Yunlong (Daniel), who both teach English in the historic city of Suzhou, located near Shanghai. Our guests were greeted by the Head, Mr Mark Everett and Tom Lilley, Student Liaison Officer for China.
During their time in school, William and Daniel will be teaching some of our key stage 3 students who will get the opportunity to learn about Chinese culture, History and the art of Calligraphy. William and Daniel will be staying in the UK for seven weeks and during that time will visit other Bath-Suzhou exchange schools in B&NES and tour the UK .
If you wish to find out more about the Bath-Suzhou Project please visit our website at www.wsbe.org.uk/china or email Mrs Rachel Clarke-Dodgson at firstname.lastname@example.org
During October Half-term eight members of Writhlington staff are off to Romania to work with the Rroma Education Centre for disadvantaged and poverty stricken families.
SENCO and trip co-ordinator Kathy Mitchell has been working alongside Fast charity for over twenty years helping to ensure that the Rroma families have the opportunity to build a safer and more sustainable life for their families.
Many of the families the staff will visit live in simple wooden shacks with wooden floors. Through the winter months they are forced to send their children to orphanages to escape the freezing conditions.
Trip co-ordinator Kathy Mitchell said:
‘ I have been going to Romania for nearly twenty years and it is such a rewarding and enriching experience. We have already made a difference there, from building homes to providing clothing and essentials for Rroma families. They are so grateful for all the help they receive’
Staff have been fundraising and collecting essential items that will provide the centre with tools to facilitate a more nurturing learning experience for the children in the surrounding villages.
Teaching Assistant Rebecca Horler summed up her feelings as follows:
‘ I am really excited about the trip. This is such a great opportunity. Our aim is to provide families with the essential means to provide for their children and to house them in suitable establishments. Fast Charity have already provided for many families and I can’t wait to see the difference it has already made.’
Writhlington school strives to ensure that all students are unique, that they fulfill their potential and are given the opportunity to achieve great things.
The school’s Learning to Lead fundraising team, which was established last year by Assistant Head Mark Bridges, organizes and facilitates events throughout the school to raise money for charity. The students have already organized events such as the school disco, race for life, mufti days and cake sales, raising over £5,000 for selected charities.
This year the team decided that although they will still donate and raise money for charities they wanted to do things a little differently.
Year 10 student Rebecca Pink said
‘We wanted to offer opportunities to our fellow students, help them reach their goals. So we decided to set up a Scholarship Fund so that individuals can apply for a grant which will help them further their education and career prospects.’
With the launch of the programme still weeks away, the Learning to Lead team couldn’t resist starting early when they heard of Corey Walkes’s fantastic success in trampolining.
Year 9 student Josie Lee said:
‘We were so inspired by his story. For someone so young to achieve something so great is amazing. We all knew straight away that Corey would be our first candidate. It’s quite cool to think we are sponsors of a Team GB athlete!’
The fundraising team donated a generous £1,000 towards Corey’s target of £2,000, which will allow him to fly out to Bulgaria to compete in Gymnastics World Age Group Championships.
Head Teacher Mark Everett said
‘ We have some truly spectacular students, not only do they achieve great things but the level of support offered to each other is incredible’
Writhlington student Corey Walkes has been officially named as one of the youngest members of the Great Britin Junior Trampolining Squad and will be representing his country in the Gymnastics World Age Group Championships held in Bulgaria next month.
Corey trains five times a week at High Flyers Trampoline Club both at Kings Fitness & Leisure Centre in Cheddar and at the Bath University Sports Training Village.
Corey trains alongside some of the most widely respected athletes in the country, including seasoned GB Senior Ladies Squad member Laura Gallagher. He is coached by High Flyers International High Performance and Head Coach, Sue Bramble, who has already coached many national and international Junior and Senior medalists during her career.
After achieving the highest qualification scores in the country for his age, Corey was selected to attend trials over two weekends in September and won both his age group event competitions by a clear margin. However it has been an anxious time for Corey and his family waiting for the official publication of the team.
“I have been training so hard for this opportunity and it is now paying off!” said Corey,“I was selected to join the Trampoline Junior High Performace Squad in May and I now travel to Lilleshall in Shropshire for GB Squad training as well as my training with High Flyers. It is hard work but I am dedicated to being the best I can be. I hope to make everyone who is supporting me in competing for my country proud.”
Corey has had to make some hard choices as competing at this level means he has decided to put his beloved rugby training on hold and swap his usual muddy rugby kit for a pristine leotard!
“I haven’t been able to go back to play at Bath Rugby's Junior Under 13s this season as the chances of injury are just too high but my team mates have all been wishing me luck!”
Competing at the highest international level for his age does have its financial implications. The families’ petrol costs alone have trebled in the past 6 months driving him around the country!
His parents, Richard & Pippa Walkes are delighted with his selection and said,
“We are exceptionally proud of our son. To compete for Great Britain at just 12 years old is a massive achievement! When you see how much he loves his sport it is very rewarding to see him achieving at this level. We know that this will be a fantastic experience for him and spending time with the rest of the G.B squad will only further his development as a top class junior trampolinist.”
Critically acclaimed author, Cressida Cowell visited Writhlington School last Friday to inspire students with her books.
The author of the nine part - How to Train Your Dragon series, spoke to Year seven students telling them inspiring tales of her childhood and revealing the magic behind the stories.
Nine books and one film later, Cressida began her tour, taking a few minutes to answer some of our Year sevens' burning questions:
Q. Why are you so interested in dragons?
Dragons have always fascinated me. They fascinated the Vikings too. They thought that dragons were magical creatures because they could live in all four elements; earth, air, fire, and water.
Q. What inspired you to create this world of dragons and Vikings?
I spent a great deal of time as a child on a tiny, uninhabited island off the west coast of Scotland. The island had no roads, houses or electricity.
The island was so remote; there was absolutely no way of getting off, even if we were terribly ill and needed medical attention.
By the time I was eight, my family had built a small stone house and bought a fishing boat so we could catch our own food. From then on, every year, we spent four weeks of the summer and two weeks of the spring on the island.
My father told us tales of the Vikings who invaded this island Archipelago twelve hundred years before: of the quarrelsome Tribes who fought and tricked each other, and of the legends of dragons who were supposed to live in the caves in the cliffs.
It felt like the kind of place where dragons really could have existed and it was, of course, one of the first places the Vikings came to and one of the last places they left… that whole area has that Viking heritage.
That was when I first started writing stories about dragons and Vikings, way back when I was nine or ten years old.
Q. Are any of the characters in the Hiccup books like YOU?
I identify with Hiccup a lot, because I think he is in a really difficult situation, trying to live up to a parent, (Stoick), who is very different from him. However, Hiccup is a diffident person who doesn’t put himself forward as Mr Important, but in fact, he is full of clever ideas and very calm in a crisis. I, on the other hand, am a bit of a show-off and in a crisis situation I tend to panic and run around in circles.
Q. How was it seeing your story brought to life on the big screen?
It was amazing to watch the process of the movie being made. It took seven years to make, and the artistry and creativity of the animators, directors, writers, storyboard artists, not to mention the actors, was truly astonishing.
I love the movie, and so the whole experience has been very enjoyable for me. It is a little mind-blowing to think that a story that began in my head is now giving pleasure to so many people across the world.
Q. Does the film match the book visually?
Yes and no. The island is actually very close to my vision in the book. The island it’s based on is Scottish, which doesn’t make sense, but it’s very similar in the wildness of that. Of course, in the book, you can’t explain the wildness of it but that’s what’s so wonderful about having the movie; it can paint the picture that you can only really hint at in the book. And particularly Hiccup, I just think it's a deeply satisfying performance, both acting and animation wise.
October the twelfth is approaching fast for pupils at Writhlington school who are hosting the Autumn Orchid Festival. The festival, which is the largest autumn orchid event in the South West, will feature orchids from across the region but none larger than a plant of the Coelogyne fimbriata that takes six teenagers to lift it.
Aaron Rabitts, thirteen from Peasedown st John, who has been looking after the plant for the last two years explained “This orchid is a real monster. The records show that we have had it at Writhlington since 1992 but in the two years it has trebled in size and is probably now the biggest orchid anywhere in the UK”
Josh Gibbs, fifteen and also from Peasedown added; “The plant won a national award in 2012 when it was much smaller and so we are really hopeful that it will win a prize at the Orchid Festival.”
The Orchid Festival is open from 10am until 4pm at Writhlington School and as well as orchid displays and competitions there will be a chance to buy orchids from specialist orchid traders, tour the Writhlington School Greenhouses and listen to talks about growing your own orchids.
Current and ex Writhlington pupils Jack Sparks and Jack Greenwood enjoyed a fantastic morning of high quality tennis coaching in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, on Monday 23rd of September. They attended the bi-annual coaching tour of the highly respected Sanchez-Casal Tennis Academy which visits England for approximately 8-10 days each year. Casal (pictured) reached No.3 in world doubles rankings, whilst Sanchez made it all the way to No.1 (both also rose to top 30 in world singles rankings around twenty years ago).
Sparks, having trained with Sergio Casal on the same programme in 2012, returned as one of seven juniors who benefited from a three hour coaching masterclass from the Spanish ex-pros. Jack Sparks clearly benefited from the day, and continues to be one of the leading young players at Writhlington.
Greenwood completed the four hour course in a coaching capacity, learning invaluable tips and on court tennis drills from the six coaches present on the day.
It was a day full of learning for two eager young players who were pleased to hear that the Academy would welcome the chance to factor in Writhlington's own indoor courts in their visits to England in the upcoming years. Perhaps a connection can be made with an enterprise that was a regular feature during Andy Murray's early teenage years. The next great name in tennis could well be from B&NES in just a few years time!
Amanda Millward Show Jumping Championships at Western Lawns, Warwickshire 7 & 8th September 2013
Twins Dolly and Tia Drayson (Year 7) had great success at the Championships held in Warwickshire. On the first day Dolly came 2nd in the 128/138 handicap, where unfortunately Tia knocked down a pole. The second day brought success for both girls with Dolly winning her class and Tia coming 2nd with a time of 21.22.
Well done girls.
Well done to Katie Duffy and Chloe Derrick who won 1st place in the 2’6 pairs competition qualifying them for Horseware National Hunter Trials Series
Sixth former Zoe Parfitt from Writhlington School is preparing to travel to South Africa to lecture about her school experiences the World Orchid Congress in Johannesburg.
Zoe who has been involved in the Writhlington School Orchid Project for six years and regularly gives talks to local WI and gardening groups is looking forward to speaking to a world audience in Johannesburg.
Zoe explained, “My talk is titled ‘The Writhlington School Orchid Project – a pupil’s perspective’ and I will talk about what I have learnt and how the Writhlington model could be applied in other schools across the world.”
She will also focus on some of the highlights of her time in the project including winning a gold medal at the Chelsea Flower show and expeditions to Rwanda and India to teach children and adults the laboratory skills to grow orchid from seed.
Those who will not be at the World Orchid Congress can hear Zoe’s talk at the Autumn Orchid Festival, at Writhlington School on the 12th October. The event runs from 10am to 4pm and Zoe will be speaking at 12 and again at 2.
Zoe Parfitt with one of her beloved orchids.
Equestrian Team members competed at the Chew Valley School Team Show Jumping event on the 14th Saturday and had a very successful day. This is an annual event where schools are invited to compete in school teams or individually. Other schools competing were: Wells Blue School, Chew Valley School, Wells Cathedral School, Stroud College and Wookey with around 85 entries in all.
The results were as follows:
Class 3 Restricted Novice (not placed 1st-6th SJ) 70cm max – Writhlington 1st with Shannon Kingman (Year 7) being placed 4th in her individual score
Class 4 Open Novice 75cm max – Writhlington 3rd with Maddie Weeks and Shannon Kingman and Shannon being placed 5th in her individual score
Class 5 Open 85cm max – Writhlington 1st (team Nisha Benson, Dolly Drayson, Tia Drayson & Hattie Smith) with Hattie Smith (Sixth Form) winning Best Turned Out
Class 6 Open 90cm max – Writhlington 1st (team Nisha Benson, Dolly Drayson, Tia Drayson & Chloe Derrick)
Class 7 Open 100cm max – Writhlington 1st (team Nisha Benson, Dolly Drayson & Tia Drayson)
Writhlington will be hosting this year's House of Lords Chamber debate, an initiative set up to encourage members of all four Cadet Forces to engage with members and veterans of the Armed Forces.
These discussion days will allow veterans to provide an insight into and an understanding of the realities of service life, the consequences of conflict and the importance of peace.
They will also provide an opportunity for the cadets to discuss the continuing impact of World War I on contemporary society and subsequent military issues.
Cadet Forces will gather together from all across the South West to compete in the first heat of debates. Successful competitors will go on to represent their squadron at the House of Lords with forces from across the whole of the UK.
The Combined Cadet Force held a special parade last Wednesday to award a promotion to Major John Price, the Commanding Officer of Writhlington School CCF.
Major Price joined the school in 1973 as a PE teacher and was subsequently Head of Foxcote House and Head of Year. He started the Combined Cadet Force in 2003 and in the same year he took a commission as Captain and was appointed as Commanding Officer.
Today Writhlington has a flourishing CCF with over 140 members and 8 instructors. The school is one of the very few state schools in the country to have its own CCF.
Major Price said: “It has been a privilege for me to be able to serve Writhlington CCF. Our Combined Cadet Force is highly regarded as one of the best in the country and goes from strength to strength every year”
Wizard IX, who is our equestrian team mascot’ has qualified again for the BE100 Grassroots at Badminton 2014. Wizard already had four qualifiers under his belt for regional finals for the BE100 Grassroots Badminton and it was wonderful that on his first competition at Goring Heath on the 7 September he came 3rd with a score of 33.
Badminton dates for 2014: Wednesday 7 – Sunday 11 May - links to the results page will be available during the competition.
We are delighted to report that four of our Writhlington school students, competing in two teams, achieved great success at Leyland Court. Students taking part were: Lydia Collingwood (Year 7), Amelia Knatchball, Chloe Derrick and Katie Duffy (Year 8).
Lydia, Chloe & Katie achieved 5th place overall as part of their team and Amelia’s team came 6th overall. There were 27 teams competing.
Amelia and Chloe also achieved three clear rounds.
Congratulations to Katie Duffy on Tinks and Lydia Collingwood on Jazz, who were both successful at Frome Show. Lydia was 3rd in the Novice Working Hunter, 2nd in the Working Hunter Pony and reserve in the Working Hunter Championships. Katie was 2nd in the Novice Working Hunter and 3rd in the Working Hunter Pony. Well done girls.
Schools from across Bath and North East Somerset gathered together at Radstock museum to mark the fortieth anniversary of the closure of Somerset Coalfield.
A new project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund has been set up to encourage students from local schools to become involved in gathering the life and history of the coal miners. Using the Twenty Fifth Annual Miners’ reunion as a platform, students will gather together information and create an exhibition, publication and a DVD.
It is anticipated that the project archive will help future generations learn about the lives of men who helped shape our local communities, inspiring classroom learning for years to come.
As our former sixth form students begin packing for university, there is one student who is still celebrating.
Charlotte-May Messer who gained a place at Royal Holloway University London to read Music after receiving two A* and an A, recently discovered she also received a grade eight Distinction in singing.
Having dedicated her academic career at Writhlington to the Arts; in particular Music, Charlotte could not be more thrilled.
Head of Music Fiona Langley said:
'Charlotte has shown such dedication to her music at Writhlington, she was a member of choir, senior wind band and directed a fantastic concert. To achieve top grades and a distinction at grade eight on top of everything else is truly formidable'
As a farewell gift to Writhlington, Charlotte organized an end of year concert for all her fellow students.
' Writhlington is full of talent and I wanted to showcase that before I left, I wanted everyone to see what I see at Writhlington, it's a hub of creativity and there are so many inspiring teachers to guide you'
The show was a roaring success, and a truly memorable exit for Charlotte.
Writhlington A Level student Jayde Dix, who has gained a place at one of England’s most prestigious universities after receiving three A* at A level, has received a Provost’s Excellence Scholarship for the University of College London.
Head Teachers Mark Everett said:
‘It has been a real privilege to have Jayde in our sixth form, not only has she achieved remarkable results, but she has been a real asset to the school and a fantastic role model for the younger students’
Jayde who studied Biology, English literature and Psychology was accepted to University College London to read Psychology after gaining exceptional grades in her studies.
The Scholarship is offered to those who have not only demonstrated academic excellence but also of those who push themselves the extra mile and achieve above and beyond that required for entry.
‘I’m so excited to be starting this new chapter in my life, university is going to be hard work but an amazing experience’
Writhlington has become home to the highest recorded amount of twins across the whole of the South West, narrowly missing the UK Guinness world record. Eight sets of identical and non Identical twins roam our hallways causing great confusion amongst teaching staff.
Head Teacher Mark Everett said:
‘It’s quite remarkable, we already have multiple sets of twins throughout the school, but never have we come across so many in one year group.’
Two Writhlington teachers flew to Burundi in Africa this summer to help set up a school in Rusaga, one of the poorest villages in the world. Students at Writhlington will be helping to raise the funds needed to provide this remote village with educational facilities. Hundreds of children live in this deprived area and travel eight miles barefoot each day to reach the nearest school.
The school will be the first in the country to follow an English curriculum, which will be developed by Writhlington School. This will eventually be used by other schools in the area. Writhlington has already donated 43 computers to the school and these will give the children access to a wide range of educational resources.
Alongside collecting resources such as pencils, toys and books, Writhlington students will also be helping to form marketing strategies for the tea and coffee produced in the region. Profits raised will enable the school to eventfully be self-sufficient.
Chris Donovan, Head of Media at Writhlington, is excited about the project and has already created a film in Burundi to help with fundraising.
“The desire among the whole community there for education was amazing; They really need help and are so grateful that a fantastic school like Writhlington wants to share their resources and expertise. The whole visit was a humbling experience. These children have never even seen a pencil before”
The new school will cost £40,000 and will be built on land donated by the Burundian government with construction due to start in 2014.
Well done to Kezia Reynolds who came 1st at Corsley Show in the Mountain & Moorland class on her pony Charlie.
After four months of intensive training, students Lucy White (Year 10) and Nicole Poole (Year 11) took on the ultimate challenge for any young swimmer.
As part of a seven-piece relay team, the students swam twenty-seven miles across the English Channel from Dover to Calais raising a staggering £4000 for their chosen charities; Dorothy House Hospice and PAC (Positive Action on Cancer), a Frome based charity.
The team, who are all members of Frome swimming club, gained their place by completing a two-hour qualifying swim at Weymouth Beach.
Expertly led by Kat Baker, intense training commenced in preparation for the big event, starting with weekly sessions at Frome Swimming Pool and Vobster Quay and fortnightly sessions at Weymouth beach.
On Wednesday 4th September they arrived in Dover at 7.15am to begin, the sun shone kindly down and waters remained calm. The team swam in hour-long intervals powering on as they darted through masses of jellyfish and with temperatures dipping well below 17 degrees.
Swimming through one of the world busiest shipping lanes, the team enjoyed the sights and sounds of passing P&O ferries, large shipping containers and even a visit from dolphins.
Jenny Steele a spokes-person for Dorothy House said:
‘‘We have been astounded by the level of commitment this group of young people has shown in raising money for Dorothy House and PAC. The dedication to their training and fundraising activities has been amazing. We are really proud of them for taking on such an incredible challenge and would like to say a big thank you for their guts and determination.’
The team completed the swim in an incredible thirteen hours and nine minutes, averaging an impressive seventy strokes per minute and arriving in tremendous spirits back to England at midnight.
Head Teacher Mark Everett said;
‘ We are very proud of Lucy and Nicole for their fantastic achievement. It’s a wonderful example of how strength and determination can help you achieve your goals.’
If you would like to hear more about their story please visit: www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/channelswim
Writhlington had a number of students who attended the Wylye Valley Pony Club camp this summer. During the second week of the holiday students camped in tents or caravans at Southfield House the home of Mrs Yeoman, DC. The week was action packed with a programme of training and competitions and many trophies and awards were achieved by the riders.
Writhlington students produced another excellent set of GCSE results this year. The results in Mathematics were particularly pleasing with 75% of students achieving results at A*-C. The percentage of students with at least 5 subjects at A*/C including English and Maths was over 60% and 87% obtained 5 good GCSE passes. Almost 50 students achieved at least 5 A*/A grades and over 90 achieved at least 3 A*/A grades in this year’s examinations. Writhlington Science students continued to outperform the national trend with over 80% obtaining 2 good GCSE qualifications. The English Language and Literature results were also very strong with a pass rate of over 75% for students taking both subjects.
The proportion of students succeeding in Ebacc qualifications rose significantly this year, with many more students successfully following Modern Languages, Science and Humanities GCSE courses. Students following these courses had an overall pass rate of 80% and Modern Languages had a pass rate of over 85%. These Ebacc results are the highest ever for Writhlington. Twice as many students obtained good passes in all three Ebacc subjects compared with 2012. Results in other subject areas were equally impressive. In twenty three different subjects 100% of students obtained good GCSE passes and the overall pass rate for all subjects at A*/C was 76%, significantly above national results for the third year in a row.
There were very many highly impressive individual achievements. Amongst those students with exceptional performances were:
Erin Slater – 12 A*, Megan Martin - 9 A* and 4As, Jena Bryan - 5 A* and 5 As plus 2 Distinction*, Holly Francis - 4 A* and 6 As, Molly Treasure - 4 A* and 6 As, Ellie Rose Soccorsy – 4 A* and 5 As, Rosemary Cox - 3 A* and 7 As, Callum Phillips Browne – 3 A* and 6 As, Matthew Bell – 2 A*, 8 As and 2 Distinction*s, Robert Clapp – 9A grades.
Headteacher Mark Everett said: “I am delighted with the success of all our students. Their dedication, commitment and hard work have been striking throughout this year and they deserved to do well. The majority of our students are staying on to undertake their A Levels and we have a large proportion of Sixth Form students progressing to top Russell Group universities, including Oxford. I am especially pleased with our Maths and Ebacc subject results this year. Twice as many students are now successfully following GCSE courses in Science, Modern Languages and Humanities and numbers will increase again next year. In Maths the proportion of top grades has increased by 8 per cent and the progress made by students of all abilities has been very impressive. What pleases me most about all of our results this year is the fact that Year 11 and Year 13 students have been able to obtain qualifications which help them to pursue their chosen career paths. They are a credit to the school and their families”
For another successive year, students from Writhlington Sixth Form are celebrating an excellent set of A Level results. More than a third of the grades achieved were at the very highest level (A* or A) with a number of students producing some phenomenal performances.
There were outstanding results in traditional subjects favoured by the top universities for: George Beechener (Geography A, History A*, Maths A) studying Geography at Oxford; Jessica Bray (Geography A, History A, Maths B), studying Environmental GeoScience at Birmingham; Sofia Chambi-Trowell (Biology A, Chemistry A, Maths A*, Extended Project A*), deferring entry to university until 2014; Katy Elsam (Biology A, Geography A, Maths B), studying Geography at University College London and Callum Jennings (Biology A*, Chemistry A, Maths A*, Further Maths A, Physics A) studying Medicine at Cardiff.
There were also top A Level grades in a range of subjects for: Jako Barker, Jayde Dix, Siddhartha Lethbridge, Bethan Lewis, Charlottte-May Messer, Alex Perry, Jake Smaje, Ryan Strother, Carys Baker, Michaela Chivers, Grayson Ford, Maisie Hillier, Victoria Isaac, Eliot Jones-Eliot, Calum Masterton, Jenn Morgan, Thomas Newton, Sam Philips, Joshua Rivers, Eirinn Rusbridge-Jones, Laurence Selwyn, Amy Stewart, and Kain Van Den Elsen.
A number of the students will be continuing their studies at prestigious universities including University College London, Exeter, Cardiff, Kent, Loughborough and Royal Holloway, University of London.
For achieving a “Distinction” grade in all their subjects, congratulations go to: Robyn Bishop, Amy Burton, Jessica Butler, Zhivko Dimitrov, Danny Farnen, Lauren Gilham, Erica Gresham, Georgina Hansford, Molly Haskins, Chloe Hilleard, William Hobbs, Lauren Jackson, Jordan Kelly, Oliver King, Katie McDermott, Georgia Nash, Joshua Raynes, Antonio Ricci-McElhone, Zoe Robertson and Arron Smith.
The school is particularly proud of Callum Jennings who achieved A*/A in all his subjects and will now be able to pursue his ambition to study medicine at Cardiff. Michael Burr, Director of Sixth Form, said, “Callum, a former Writhlington “Young Person of the Year” is proof that with courage, resilience and determination, individuals can achieve what may have seemed unattainable goals.”
We also congratulate George Beechener who has combined his academic excellence, sporting prowess and musical talents throughout his time at Writhlington School and will now read Geography at Brasenose College, Oxford.
Alongside outstanding academic achievement, three students; Maisie Hillier, Charlotte May-Messer and Hannah Regan, have achieved Grade 8 Singing.
Michael Burr, Director of Sixth Form said, “All staff have commented on how impressed they have been with the whole year group throughout their time at Writhlington. As well as being dedicated and hardworking, they have always shown loyalty to and support for each other.”
“Writhlington School is proud of its students and what they have achieved. Their success comes as no surprise given the consistent commitment shown during their time here. We are delighted with their results,” said Headteacher Mark Everett. “Almost every single student has been able to go to their first choice of university or has secured courses in Further Education (including Foundation Degrees in Arts) or apprenticeships with a quality career path (including Ministry of Defence and Wessex Water).
On Tuesday 16th July, eight students took the opportunity to meet 6 times Olympic medal winner, Sir Steve Redgrave.
The event was part of the Matalan Sporting Promise initiative, which has enabled KS4 students in the B&NES area to benefit from coaching in a variety of alternative sports.
Sir Steve Redgrave gave a presentation on his Olympic successes and career as a professional rower and then the students had the opportunity to ask questions, before playing lacrosse alongside him.
P.E teacher Helen Earl commented ‘The girls were inspired by Steve's positive attitude, determination and down-to earth persona. The message was clear: with hard work and dedication, anything is possible’.
Prictured back from L-R: Miss Darke, Amy Williams, Ellie Bennett, Charlotte Claasen, Sir Steve Redgrave, Nicole Curtis, Daisy Hudson, Minty Hampden-Martin, Mrs. Earle Front L-R: Charlotte Holmes, Dejanelle Broadway
Earlier this month, the Writhlington Girls’ Cricket team reached the final of the Sainsbury's West of England School Games held at The University of Bath.
The team of eight battled their way through the preliminaries, beating Bristol Met, St Katherine’s and Downend Schools to set up a chance to be on the winners’ podium.
The final was against old rivals Hayesfield who opened the batting with an impressive first innings. This was well matched by some superb fielding and bowling from the Writhlington girls. Hayesfield finished on 57-4, a tough score to beat; this became a struggle once opening bat, Abigail Tonks was run out early in the innings. Josephine Lee and Lizzie Finch then made a great effort to reduce the gap between the two teams but despite their brave efforts Writhlington fell short of the required total, to take the silver medal.
At the start of July, Mr. Naunton and Mrs. Earle rewarded some of Writhlington’s most helpful and talented 6th form students with a trip to the All England Tennis Club to watch the Wimbledon Championships.
They left Writhlington at 7.30am and headed to London with Court 2 tickets in hand. On arrival, the students were treated to the sight of Andy Murray warming up on the training courts, which proved to be just one of many highlights from the day.
The first match they watched was fourth seed David Ferrer play Ivan Dodig in a tight match that finished 6-7, 7-6, 6-1, 6-1. This was followed by Agnieszka Radwanska, also fourth seed versus Tsvetana Pironkova, which finished 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Following some good fortune the students were able to finish the day on Centre Court watching the World number 1 and Wimbledon finalist Novak Djokovic beat Tommy Hass.
‘ We all had an amazing day. Trips like this are valuable to the our students as it shows them what it takes to perform at a professional level’ said Mr. Naunton.
Four Writhlington students recently travelled to Bath Community College to take part in this year’s YouthParliament.
The event brought students from schools across B&NES together to discuss some of the key issues affecting young people.
Kezia Coles and Ella Churches White from year 9 and Will Hawkins and Connor Hill from year 10 travelled to the event to meet with their peers and discuss issues including safe places to hang out, how to keep young people emotionally and physically well, preparation for training and work and good ideas on the use of public transport in B&NES.
The four Writhlington students chose to focus specifically on how to keep young people emotionally and physically well. The group prepared presentations, along with students from other local schools, about why they believe this is an issue that needs Council support and how they can effect change.
A close vote at the end of the day saw Writhlington’s students victorious and their issue will now be taken forward and discussed at a Policy, Development and Scrutiny Council meeting at the Guildhall, Bath.
For the second time this year, on Monday 15 July, Wizard will be competing at Badminton in the Riding Club Inter Team Competition sponsored by Badminton Horse Boxes. At this event he will be competing wearing the Writhlington School logo. You can keep up with news from the day using the following link: http://www.badmintondressage.co.uk/class-5.html
As part of activity week, seventy Writhlington Key Stage Three students took an educational tip to Bristol Zoo with the Humanities department.
The weather for the trip was exceptional, as the students explored the diverse wildlife that the zoo had on offer. This was followed by a fantastic educational session on animal adaptation, held by zoologists.
Pupils had the chance to study some of the exotic animals up close and got hands on experience in holding mealworms, terrapins and geckos.
At the end of the day students also had the opportunity to see one of the 80 uniquely painted Gromits, which have been placed around Bristol. The animation company, Aardman are running ‘Gromit Unleashed’ as a means to raise awareness and funding for ‘The Grand Appeal’, a charity for Bristol children’s hospital.
Four incredibly talented Writhlington students have been selected to showcase their artwork at the National Students Art Exhibition, held at the Mall Galleries, London.
Jamie Wheeler (yr 12), Rosannah Mohn (yr 12), Emily Savage (yr 11) and Alicia Chambri Trowell (Yr11) will be exhibiting their work for 4 days in the prestigious Mall galleries situation on the Mall near Trafalgar square.
This is the eleventh year of the National Students’ Art Exhibition held under the patronage of the Royal Society of British Artists. It features the best young artists in the country exhibiting alongside work from some of Britain’s finest professional artists.
The Mall describes the show as ‘A truly inspirational exhibition, celebrating gifted and talented students in Schools, Colleges and Academies.’
The exhibition runs from Tue 9th – Sat 13th July 2013, 10am – 5pm. It is free admission, so if you are in London during this period we would encourage you to visit this exceptional exhibition.
Picture : Girl with Fan By Year 12 Rosanna Mohn
The art students at Writhlington School are again celebrating outstanding student progress and achievement this year.
The annual final year art exhibition was recently held at the school to showcase the exceptional talent of Fine Art and Textiles students.
The students used an exciting range of media within a diverse selection of themes. A remarkable example was Holly Powney’s interpretation of realism (pictured) using oil painting on card. The piece demonstrated incredible painting technique and sensitivity towards the subject and feelings portrayed.
Fashion Textiles has proved popular this year and is now preparing for a large intake in September. Catwalk bags, Indian henna tattoos and Samurai warrior costumes were just a few of the fantastic pieces produced this year.
The Head Of Art, Caroline Slater has described this year’s work as: “...Exceptional and of a degree standard. They are a hugely talented group of students who have been an absolute joy to teach. I am very sure that some of them will go on to be amazing within the creative industry”.
Once again some artists will also be exhibiting at the highly prestigious National students’ Art Exhibition at The Royal Society of British Artists, Mall Gallery, London.
Please visit www.wsbe.org.uk to view prints of students’ work that can be ordered.
Despite rain, Wizard who was fresh from victory at Pontispool at the end of May, had a brilliant score at the Nunney International Horse Trials. He managed a dressage score of 29, with no faults in either show jumping or cross country, and therefore finished on the final score of 29 giving him 2nd place. Unfortunately he missed out on 1st place by 1 second!
From an early age we are asked to choose: Art or Science? Creativity or Analysis? But why does it have to be one or the other. The James Dyson foundation celebrates innovation and creativity, helping to train a new generation of designers and engineers.
Students from five schools across Bath and North east Somerset, gathered at Writhlington to celebrate their learning with a showcase of work inspired by the Dyson project.
Lady Antonia Dyson and two other trustees of the Dyson foundation visited the showcase event to see some of the inventive ways that students have been using Dyson’s investment.
Writhlington showcased their ‘BioBox’ prototype, an initiative set up in cooperation with the award winning Orchid Project. The BioBox is designed to replicate the perfect growing ecosystem for rare and endangered orchids.
Simon Pugh-Jones, NBE commented ‘ the donation from the Dyson project has been vital in the development of the BioBox and has allowed students to advance their learning to a whole new level’
All the schools involved will continue to receive support and investment from the Dyson foundation for the upcoming year.
View the event video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Q3qlKQ0NVA
After the great success of last year’s LV=SOS Kit Aid Writhlington School has again risen to the challenge.
The charity LV=SOS Kit Aid has been collecting second hand/surplus rugby, cricket and sports kit from clubs and schools around the country since 2001 and redistributing it to disadvantaged young people across the world. In 2012, 28 tonnes were sent to over 20 countries and the target for this year is 35 tonnes.
There was an outstanding response from the whole school and it is estimated that this year’s collection has been an even larger kit donation than last year.
Ross Young, Kit Aid representative for the South West commented “We are very grateful to the children of Writhlington School for yet another huge collection which included 18 pairs of cricket pads, 96 assorted football shirts, 88 pairs of shorts, 27 pairs of boots and trainers, cricket balls, socks and more. It is all going to a great cause”.
For the first time at Writhlington both the Year 7 and 8, boys’ and girls’ tennis teams have made it through to the County Finals.
The students fought hard all the way through the regional tournament, which was held in Writhlington’s fantastic tennis centre. Their hard work was rewarded with a place at the county finals, held at Bath University on Friday 5th July.
The students involved have shown great commitment in attending one of the many weekly after school clubs that are offered to Writhlington students. They were chosen to represent the school because of their hard work, dedication and very high performance.
Over two hundred and thirty 5K and 10K Race for Life events take place each year all across the UK. This year, students from the ‘Learning to lead- Fundraising team’ organised Writhlington’s very own event.
One hundred and fifty students aged 11-15 took part in the race raising £892.86.
Students paid a £2 entry fee and were encouraged to get sponsorship from friends and family.
Rebecca Pink, a student member of the fundraising team, said “People were so generous, we raised a substantial amount of money and there is still more coming in. The sweat and tears were all worth it in the end.”
The sun shone favourably on the event as students ran, jogged and walked the 5k route. The first student, Chloe Derrick (Year 7), completed the course in twenty three minutes closely followed by Kate Duffy (Year 7) and Deja Boradway (Yr 10) in 24 minutes.
Assistant Head, Mark Bridges said “It was brilliant to see so many young girls getting involved for this valuable cause. This is a brilliant example of how student- led projects like ‘learning to lead’ have made a really positive impact on the individuals involved and the wider community”.
Students hope to run the event next year making it bigger and even better... Watch this space for the Movember Fun Run.
As the end of the school year draws closer, congratulations must go to the students who setup and ran the Writhlington school shop this year. Since the shop was rebranded, it has turned over a massive £8000 and has achieved a good profit.
Unfortunately the shop will be losing some of its year 11 and 13 staff. Particular mention must go to Chloe Hilleard, a year 13 student, who was the managing director and deserves special praise for her dedication and hard work.
Head of Business, Mr Mann commented ‘We’ve had an amazing response from the whole school and especially all the students involved with the shop. Some of the current student staff will be leaving Writhlington this year and I hope they can take the skills and knowledge learnt with them into their future careers’.
The school shop is recruiting new staff, so if you are interested in joining the enterprise, please contact Mr Mann in the Business Studies Department.
For a second year running a Writhlington Band has managed to obtain a place in the final of the Young Chamber Battle of the Bands to be held at Westminster on 17th of July. The four-piece band, Bad Friend, were the first to make it through to the finals with their video receiving the most “likes” in the Skills Factor Facebook competition.
The national competition, which is run in conjunction with Skills Factor, aims to encourage young musicians to celebrate music making and take to the stage in front of industry judges.
The remaining competing bands’ videos and business plans will now be viewed by a judging panel and three bands will be chosen to go through to the finals to compete with Bad Friend.
Ciranne Barrass, aged 16, has recently been offered a place on the University of Exeter’s Year 11 summer school program.
The University of Exeter, which is rated in the top 10 universities in the country, runs a year 11 summer school annually in July. The aim of the programme is to give students a taste of university life.
As well as attending a varied academic programme, students are also invited to stay on campus, giving them the opportunity to socialise with the other summer school students and obtain a first-hand experience of university life.
Students will also take part in careers and skills sessions designed to inform and equip them with skills relevant to further study, such as team building and study skills. Workshops will be offered on career opportunities for university graduates and students will be encouraged to discuss career options and life at University with their Ambassadors.
Headteacher, Mark Everett said, “Well done to Ciranne. It’s a fantastic chance to find out about life at university”.
Year 7 helped celebrate a very special birthday during term 5... The brilliant Bard himself, William Shakespeare!
On the 23rd of April, 7b/EnH spent the week studying a variety of Shakespeare's plays and poetry. They decided to bake cakes and even make birthday cards, as a celebration of the life and work of one of Britain's greatest playwrights.
“My Money Week” is a high profile personal finance initiative which provides an opportunity for young people to gain the skills, knowledge and confidence in money matters, to thrive in our society.
The beginning of June saw the fifth annual “My Money Week”, with thousands of teachers and students taking part.
Throughout the week students became ‘employees’ and were rewarded with ‘wages’ (in a currency designed specifically for the week) for the work-based skills of efficiency (working hard), customer service (being polite) and having the correct equipment.
The highest earning student from each year group was awarded a £30 gift voucher.
Some students also competed in a national competition in which the challenge was to think creatively about “The A-Z of Money”. Students produced stories or poems or anything else which inspired them to write. The winners – to be announced shortly - will receive prizes as well as being entered for a trip to the winners’ event in London.
Paul Mann, Head of business commented “It was a really fun week for all the students and it definitely helped to develop their accountancy and money skills”.
The Year 11 Geography classes have their unit 2 GCSE on Wednesday this week. The class celebrated one of their final lessons with cake and exam practice. Nina Varney brought in the delicious cupcakes with Geography key words in the icing, a fantastic effort. Good luck to all in their GCSE exams.
Congratulations to Wizard IX who came 1st in the BE100 class at Pontispool on Saturday 25 May. The link to his record can be found by opening http://www.britisheventing.com/asp-net/Events/Results.aspx?HorseId=86996
Wizard IX will be competing at the Nunney International Horse Trials on 14 June 2013 in the BE100 (times are not yet available).
Writhlington girls had the opportunity of a lifetime when England cricketers Charlotte Edwards (MBE) and Heather Knight, along with former England player Caroline Atkins, visited school on Tuesday.
A brief but strenuous warm up preceded short master classes in fielding, bowling and batting, with students receiving individual help and advice throughout the afternoon. This was followed by a game session where the girls were able to demonstrate their new found skills, clearing showed that real progress had been made even in such a short amount of time.
The afternoon ended with a question and answer session; students were amazed to hear that Charlotte started her England career at the age of 16, has been England captain for seven years and has scored a double century. Questions about diet, training and the development of the women’s game in comparison with the men’s, gave students a real insight in to the world of an elite sportswoman.
Karla Passingham, P.E teacher commented ‘A fantastic afternoon for all concerned, which left all the girls full of enthusiasm for their cricketing futures.’
Pictured: Charlotte Edwards left and Heather Knight (Right) with Writhlington's Girl cricket team
One-Day Event held at Stonar on Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th May 2013 Two students, Minty Martin (Year 10) and Chloe Derrick (Year 7) took part in a One-Day Event this weekend having a very successful competition. Minty finished 4th with 29 points and Chloe 15th with 52.4 points. Unfortunately Megan Blackmar (Year 8) was unable to compete on this occasion due to the large number of entries. Well done to both girls.
Well done to Katie Duffy who took part her first Pony Club Race Day at Wincanton Racecourse on Saturday 18 May 2013. Katie and Tinks entered The Old Mill & Champion Headwear Novice Stakes, which was run over 4 furlongs. They came second in a very close race, only being beaten by a head, out of a field of 12.
Year 10 student, Amelia Dyer, has been selected to represent Great Britain in the Target shooting junior squad.
Amelia competes in .22 target rifle (over 25 yards and 50 metres) and .177 target air rifle shooting (over 10 metres). She has been a member of the Scout Association Representative Rifle Squad for the past two years and following a successful competition at the British Airgun Championships in February, was invited to become a member of the GB Junior Target Rifle Squad.
The past 6 months have seen a great improvement in her shooting, taking part in several major competitions with some of the country’s top competitors. February saw her get two personal best scores in the British Airgun Championships.
Amelia is incredibly dedicated to the sport and recently ended up participating in back to back competitions, seeing her take part in the Fareham Open, followed by a trip to Cambridgeshire the following day to take part in another 50m prone competition.
Amelia is currently training hard for the National Smallbore Rifle Association (NSRA) 50m Championships coming up in June and then competing as part of the GB Team in the Junior International Competition at Bisley, in August.
The U13 and U15 girls football team travelled to Broadlands School to play in the B&NES football tournament on Wednesday 8th May.
Despite the pouring rain, both teams approached the tournament with great enthusiasm. The U13 team won their tournament, and the U15 team came an impressive 3rd place.
Miss Weeks, P.E teacher commented ‘Some excellent football was played by both teams, and the girls' were a pleasure to take. U13 player of the tournament was Tallulah-Ede Bishopp, and U15 player of the tournament was Anna Lee. A massive well done to all of the girls involved.’
Over 2,400 teenagers braved torrential rain, strong winds and aching limbs to take part in one of the UK's most renowned and grueling expeditions.
Two teams of Writhlington students faced treacherous conditions as they battled their way across Dartmoor to compete in the annual Ten Tors challenge.
The army saw the highest drop out and incompletion rate that they have seen in years. Not only were they manning Tors, but also had to safeguard all river crossings as they had risen up to waist height over night. Conditions were not just challenging for the students, as 100s of team organisers set up their base camps only to be faced with up to 75mph gusts of wind, which left one man unconscious as he collided with a flyaway tent.
Brigadier Piers Hankinson, director of Ten Tors and commander of 43 (Wessex) Brigade, said: "It's been really tough conditions this year. When they set off on Saturday morning there was a lot of rain, drizzle and very poor visibility. A lot of teams got disorientated early on”.
He added: "It's not a race, it's a challenge and the conditions out there have been very challenging."
Unfortunately, both Writhlington teams drew a new and particularly challenging route this year. Though many students wanted to carry on, both teams were forced by the organisers to withdraw from the competition, due to time and weather restraints.
Emily Applegate, captain of the School team said: ‘The weather was horrible, the rivers were so high that the army had to help us cross, often sending us an extra 3 or 4 miles to a safer part. I am very proud of our team, despite everything, we worked hard and together.’
Jess White captain of the CCF team said ‘only 8 teams out of the 13 on our route completed, it was a new route and much harder. I am proud of our team and the school team. We worked together and supported each other. If we have learnt anything, it's the importance of teamwork and determination’.
Gene Norris, in Year 7, has been recognised for his outstanding rugby in his last year in Bath Mini Rugby Club. Gene won both the Bath Mini Rugby Under 12s Player's Player, as voted for by all his team mates and Player of the Year, as chosen by all his coaches. Gene will now progress into the Bath Youth Rugby Section in the Under 13s next season and is looking forward to training at the Lambridge Ground, alongside the more experienced Youth and Colts teams in September.
Earlier this year, students from Writhlington took part in World Maths Day for the first time.
World Maths Day is an international event in which students compete online against each other answering questions as quickly as possible.
This year there were around 6 million students from over 200 countries taking part. Now part of the World Education Games, nearly 300 million Maths questions were answered correctly during the competition.
Over 300 Writhlington students took part, answering nearly 80, 000 Maths questions correctly, some individuals answered over 2,000 questions.
Mr Page, Maths teacher, commented ‘Congratulations to all those that took part. The students really enjoyed the competition and in particular competing against International students. It’s really great to see students involved in an international tournament and we are already looking forward to World Maths Day 2014.’
Lord Lucas from the Education Select Committee, visited Writhlington School to talk to pupils and staff about the work the school is doing in partnership with the Dyson Foundation. Year 9 pupils in Technology are carrying out investigations into the aerodynamics of equipment in disaster zones, using ipads and apps to measure and analyse the effects of mass, surface area and terminal velocity.
Lord Lucas also viewed the Orchid Labs and the work pupils are doing with Sciencescope. He was able to see the latest invention – a Biobox which can simulate different climate zones and support the propagation and growth of plants from across the world.
His parting comment to Headteacher Mark Everett was: “I’ve never seen a school where work of this standard is being carried out so successfully.”
The school’s work with Dyson is continuing next year, supporting and encouraging the aspirations and inventions of young engineers and entrepreneurs.
Pictured: Lord Lucas learning about the 3D printer, which was donated by the Dyson foundation.
Wizard finished eighth in the Mitsubishi Grassroots Championships BE90 category at Badminton Horse Trials last week ridden by Kathy Emery.
Wizard also qualified last year but was denied the chance to compete when the event was cancelled due to poor weather. Competition organisers allowed his previous score to carry over to this year and he competed against a 53 strong field.
Wizard looked likely to finish third but, unfortunately, knocking one pole down in the showjumping denied him of a podium finish.
Congratulations to Chloe Derrick who competed in the Winter League show jumping finals over the weekend. She came 1st in the 2’6 , 1st in the 2’6 Totally Tack winter league, 2nd in the 2’9 (unfortunately beaten by 1 second), 1st in the league at 2’9 and finally 1st overall with the most points overall in all her classes.
Writhlington School is donating a large number of old student netbooks to support the education of students in a small village in Burundi, Africa. During parental consultation about the change to iPads, many parents were keen that the school found a charitable purpose for the redundant equipment.
Chris Donovan and Chantal Ndikumana, two Writhlington teachers, have established a charity in Rusaga a remote community of only 6000 people, which aims to open a school and health centre for the local population.
Chris Donovan commented‘ Rusanga is one of the poorest villages in the country, so the gift of these netbooks will make a huge difference to the children, especially as they have no other means to access this type of equipment’.
The Burundi Education Foundation has been gifted land to build the school by the Burundian government and work on the structure has already started. However the charity is still in need of equipment and resources to turn the dream into a reality
Professor Joseph Katihabwa, organizer of the project in Burundi, commented ‘It will be the first school in the region to follow the English curriculum and everybody is extremely grateful to Writhlington School for their kind offer’.
by Petra Schofield for remotegoat on 05/05/13
Little Women - The Broadway Musical, Allan Knee, Mindi Dickstein and Jason Howland.
This triumphant musical is based on Louisa May Alcott's classic 1869 semi-autobiographical novel, charting the lives of the iconic March sisters.
There are few who may not know the story of the tomboy aspiring writer Jo, the romantic caring Meg, pretentious Amy and the kind hearted, tragic Beth who live with their loyal, caring Marmee whilst their absent father is away serving as a Union Army Chaplain during the American Civil War.
Writhlington School at The Prospect Theatre has captured a production of beauty and poise with the finish deserving of any professional touring company. Set design (Becca Long), creates a beautiful homestead with a warm happy environment, the versatility of the log cabin staging allowing the drama to flow easily, a highly atmospheric vision coupled with complementary lighting design (Ed Hill) and costumes from Carol Lewis, defines a tableau that is quintessentially American and this fine artistic stamp sets a memorable platform for the show.
The charm and beauty of this musical lies within its excellent score and wonderful script, bursting with fun and reality never shying away from sadness but ensuring there is little sentimentality; this gives the characters added strength and tenacity, a driving force which fuels the central character Jo (Hannah Long)
It is almost impossible to believe Hannah Long is a pupil, she transports the audience away from the school based auditorium into another league; controlling, defining and shaping the show into something quite " Astonishing" Her vocal and acting ability belies her age and it is an inspirational performance from a truly extraordinary young talent.
The March sisters are all in fine form supporting their big sister. Amy (Nicole Welling) is a suitability spoilt, jealous and ultimately successful socialite who craves to be noticed. Meg (Caroline Albrow) is a delicate, loving sister who finds love and settles happily. Beth, (Emily Seal) captures the pathos and tragedy with tenderness and understanding, ensuring her relationship with Jo is completely credible and life without each other utterly suffocating and empty.
There are excellent supporting roles from Hannah Barry (Marmee), Danni Pearce (Aunt March), Leon Drissen (Professor Bhaer), James Mcdowall (Laurie) and Jack Strawbridge (Mr. Brooke.)
This is an excellent production with wonderful detail; much of this credit is owed to the precise direction of this young company by James Moore, confident, foot sure and so much more. These are detailed considered characterisations which come only at the expense of long rehearsals, goodwill and the burning of much midnight oil. There are few schools that can attract such a calibre of teaching staff when coupled alongside a sought after regional MD in the guise of Harry Burt there is truly little that is left unexplored. The orchestra are well balanced and the dynamics of the set pieces enabling the principals to flourish.
An inspiring evening of what can be achieved when all are in harmony, it is hard to imagine many productions that compare with the excellent finish and style that this school has been able to present. Moments such as these reflect the very best of opportunities when young adults are able to achieve with perseverance and professional guidance, Writhlington School should not let this team get away. The standing ovation was well deserved and the reputation of this drama department now firmly established.
Find this article posted by Petra Schofield on RemoteGoat.
Writhlington joined forces with local emergency services to deliver a ‘ better/safer-driving day’ for its Sixth Form students.
The aim of the day was to encourage sensible driving among Sixth Form students, as this age group is statistically most likely to be involved in a traffic collision.
As part of the day, sixth formers were invited to watch and participate in a controlled car crash scenario, which was set up in conjunction with the fire brigade and ambulance service. The whole of Sixth Form also heard the tragic warning message of Justin, a young man who had lost his girlfriend in a car crash the previous year.
Mike Burr, Head of Sixth form commented ‘The organisation and coordination of the various services and volunteers was outstanding. Students were able to witness teamwork, skill and the high level of commitment that the emergency services have to undertake’.
‘Having spoken to a number of students and staff it is clear the message has got through and this day will have saved lives. Students and sixth form tutors have said it was the best personal, social and Health Education day they have had in their time at this school and many said they were lost for words when Justin shared his personal tragedy; a courageous and selfless act’.
Corey Walkes, Year 7, has been selected to be part of the 2013 Great Britain Trampoline High Performance Junior Squad.
Corey is one of just two young trampoline gymnasts selected nationally for the 11/12 year old age group and is one of only twelve in total in the Under 18's junior squad - so this is a fantastic achievement.
The High Performance Junior Squad focuses on producing outstanding European Junior and World Age Group results whilst the Senior Squad targets European, World and Olympic senior levels.
Corey is currently training 12 hours a week at High Flyers Trampoline Club, based in Cheddar. He trains with International High Performance Head Coach Sue Bramble, who is also Personal Coach to Senior GB Squad member, Laura Gallagher.
Corey will now be travelling regularly to Lilleshall National Sports Centre in Shropshire to attend training camps for the GB squads. His training will now be focused on the 2013 British Championships held at the NEC in July and trials in September for the Junior World Championships held in Bulgaria in November.
Year 10 BTEC Business students completed an activity day to develop team working and leadership skills.
Over 70 students from BTEC Business participated in specially programmed activities and team building exercises. The students completed a range of activities, that challenged both physical and mental abilities.
The day was aimed at developing the essential skills and personal attributes required to work in the business sector. The activities encouraged the use of teamwork and problem solving, as well as helping students to identify their own leadership qualities and use them in the most effective way.
Mr Mann, BTEC teacher commented ‘The students demonstrated outstanding behavior throughout the day and although some found the tasks challenging, they are were still able to develop their communication, team work and leadership skills’.
Pictured: One group completing a challenge, which involved removing ping pong balls from a bucket only using ropes.
Writhlington Equestrian Team members first event at Minimus & Junior Tetrathlon Sandroyd on Sunday 28 April 2013
We are delighted to report that two Writhlington students entered the Minimus & Junior Tetrathlon on Sunday 28 April 2013 - Chloe Derrick taking part in the Junior's and Katie Duffy in the mini groups.
Both girls had to start early, getting up at 5.30am to get their ponies ready and travel to Sandroyd School for a 9.30am start ready for their first phase, Chloe’s run and Katie’s shoot. Normally these events are held over two days so with this one being on the same day it was very long and tiring, and the girls did not arrive home until 7.30pm.
The groups consisted of approximately 35 girls.
Shooting - Turning targets at 7m with two hands (maximum score 1000) - 840
Running 1000m (as fast as you can) - 3 mins 58 sec
Swimming - 2mins (as far as you can) - 139m (joint 2nd)
Riding 2’3” (looking for clear round, max points 1400) - 1350
Shooting - Turning targets at 7m with one hand(maximum score 1000) - 860
Running 1500m (as fast as you can) - 6 mins 46 sec
Swimming - 3 mins (as far as you can) - 221m (2nd)
Riding 2’6” (looking for clear round, max points 1400) - 1350
(The riding phase height can increase depending on the competition)
One-Day Event on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 May 2013 to be held at Stonar School, Melksham. If you are interested in entering as a team or individual please contact: Catt Benson email@example.com.
Two students are taking part in a Junior Tetrathlon on Sunday 28 April 2013 at Sandroyd Prep School, Tollard Royal, Nr Salisbury. The event consists of running, swimming, shooting and cross country.
On Sunday 21st April, six boys from Writhlington School entered the annual LTA Avon School Doubles Tournament held in Bristol.
Siddhartha Lethbridge (yr 13) and Tom Hunt (yr 11) had an amazing run and won their round robin box matches easily, then came up against Beechen Cliff in the semi final, they were due to play the Gibbs twins, a renowned doubles team. Tom & Siddhartha were under pressure to start with going down 3-0, and then they managed to swing the advantage and momentum of the game and came out the winners 6-4. With Tom placing some unforgettable volleys and Siddhartha powering his serves at the opposition.
In the final the Writhlington students faced Colstons School, who they had already played in their box and had won easily, but this time they did not get such an easy time. Winning the first set 6-4, they were cruising through the second when Harry Coulthard from Colstons pulled out some amazing serves and changed the set into Colston’s favour, winning in 6-3. The final set was then a championship tiebreak to 10.
With the rest of the Writhlington boys watching, a tense tiebreak ensued and at 8-4 down, Tom & Siddhartha thought all was lost, but again some great rallying & tight play turned the match again and at 9-9 everyone was tense. A final score of 11-9 in Writhlington favour was a fantastic result for Writhlington School.
Siddhartha commented ‘I thought we were gone in the tiebreak, but Tom pulled out some excellent net play and we managed to hang in against two match points when the opposition unfortunately did two double faults, then we turned it round for the final few points’
Also playing were Ross Harding & Luke Reddington for the Junior Boys (yr 7 & 8) and Jack Sparks and partner Ryan Harris for the intermediate boys (yr 9 & 10). Both teams gave a good account of themselves but the wind and change of playing surface were elements that slightly ‘foxed’ the boys and they did not progress further than the round robin stages.
Writhlington students have been relaxing their bodies and minds by taking part in a new after school yoga class, which began this term.
The club is for students of all ages and takes place in Fitness Studio 2 on a Wednesday, between 3.45 -4.45pm. Anyone wishing to take part is welcome to come along. The club is highly recommended for anyone with exams approaching, as yoga can help to alleviate stress and clear the mind.
On Thursday 22nd of April, 9 Writhlington school pupils attended the Playground to Podium Sports Day at Bath University.
The students took part in a variety of different sports including karate, tennis, trampolining, athletics, boccia & multi-skills.
Sarah O'Connell said, "karate was my favourite activity as I hadn't done it before and I might have to use some of the skills I've learnt one day!"
All of the pupils involved were a credit to the school for the way they conducted themselves and for giving 100% throughout the day.
Writhlington School Combined Cadet Force was visited by General Sir Jack Deverell KCB OBE for the Biennial inspection where he observed all aspects of the Cadet force.
The day was split between two locations. Some of the cadets were taken to Vobster quarry where they took part in activities such as kayaking, canoeing and Diving.
The rest of the cadets remained at school to engage in First aid (where the cadets had to deal with a road traffic accident), Skill at arms, climbing and the Army Careers stand.
‘It was a very successful day and all of the cadets thoroughly enjoyed all the activities on offer’
After the great success of last year’s kit collection, Writhlington School will again be taking in part in LV SOS Kit Aid.
Kit Aid is an organisation set up to send unused sports kit to disadvantaged children in the UK and overseas. Since 2001 the project has sent £3.5 million pounds of recycled kit to 20 emerging countries in Africa and Eastern Europe, benefitting over 135,000 children.
Writhlington is asking students to bring in any unused or old sporting items, over the next four weeks, which could be re-used by other less fortunate children. Kit Aid accepts a diverse range of sporting goods whether it be clothing or old sports equipment.
If you are interested in donating or would like further information please contact Mr Mann at Writhlington
Writhlington is delighted to announce that the school has signed up to become members of NSEA (the National School Equestrian Association) and will compete against other schools across the country.
There has been huge interest in joining the team, with approximately 40 students attending assessment events, held at Hill House Farm by kind sponsorship of Heather Larson. Mark Everett, Headteacher, would like to thank Mrs Angela Yeoman OBE and Mrs Susan Larson for supporting Writhlington’s application for membership into NSEA. Trainers for the assessment events were Andy Carter and Catt Benson.
Students were split into groups according to their riding ability and the assessments included flat work and jumping. Although many students already compete with Wylye Valley Pony Club, the Riding Club and local shows, Writhlington is very keen to give those who have not competed the opportunity to be included. The standard of the students was excellent and the trainers were very impressed with everyone involved.
There will be various teams competing for the school in the various equestrian disciplines. Students have entered for the Junior Tetrathlon which will take place at Sandroyd Prep School on Sunday 28 April 2013.
Writhlington Equestrian Team has a school ‘inspiration’ horse whose progress the students will follow in future competitions. Wizard XI, who will compete bearing the school’s logo, was purchased by Jayne Andrews as a six month foal. Ridden by Kathy Emery, a local freelance rider and instructor, who specialises in bringing on young horses, Wizard XI will be in action at Badminton Grassroots in May.
Each spring the Royal Horticultural Society hosts the London International Orchid Show featuring the best orchid nurseries from across Europe including our own Writhlington School Orchid Project.
Fourteen year old pupil, Georgia Hughes, explained, “Writhlington has been displaying at the show since 2003 and this year was our most successful yet. Our display won a coveted RHS Gold Medal and we carried off both of the top plant awards at the show.”
Chair of the RHS orchid judging committee, Johan Hermans, described the Writhlington display as outstanding especially in terms of the beautifully grown specimen plants, the quality of finish and the excellent information about the school’s conservation work in Rwanda.
The top plant awards at the show are ‘Best specimen plant’ which Writhlington won for the third year in succession, this time with an enormous plant of Coelogyne cristata, and ‘Best Orchid’ won by Writhlington’s Dendrobium thyrsiflorum.
Tom Forsythe, part of the set up team, noted “We are fortunate that after twenty two years of the orchid project we have grown some real monster plants. The only problem is that these plants are really difficult to transport to London and our Coelogyne now needs four people to carry it.
The next chance to see Writhlington School’s orchids and orchid growers will be on July 4th when the school hosts the British premier of a new David Attenborough film about orchids, featuring the school. More details can be found from the school on 01761 433581.
Writhlington is always proud to welcome past alumni back to the School, and this year’s production of the Broadway Musical, ‘Little Women’ will be the opportunity to do exactly that.
After the hugely successful production of My Fair Lady, Director James Moore returns to Writhlington to lead a talented group of Sixth Form students in their final unit of study.
James has gathered a team of Writhlington leavers and Alumni professionals to work closely with the students, helping them create what is shaping up to be a very memorable performance.
This beautiful musical, charts the trials and tribulations of the four March sisters, Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth - four "little women" enduring hardships and enjoying adventures in Civil War New England. The book is an inspiring tale of loss, true love and is a family drama that validates virtue over wealth. This beautiful musical allows the stories of each of the four girls to unfold, masterfully weaving relationships and romance into their simple lives.
Director James Moore commented, “It’s rare to find a musical based on a piece of literature that conveys the true emotion found in the pages of its physical counterpart, but in Little Women, the expert writing team has managed to weave the wonder, excitement and sorrow of Louisa May Alcott’s classic 1869 semi-autobiographical novel into the soaring score and haunting melodies of this show”
Ed Hill, Theatre Manager and also a former student, has relished the opportunity to use the school’s state of-the-art Prospect Theatre to its full capability, proving students and the community with a professional experience.
The on stage talent will be accompanied by a twelve piece orchestra, comprising of some of the school’s past and present students and being expertly lead by one of the South West’s most sought after Musical Directors, Harry Burt. This show is set to be a fantastic evening’s entertainment for the whole family.
The show runs for three nights from 2nd to the 4th of May 2013. The show starts at 7:30, but the Prospect Bar will be open from 7 onwards.
Tickets cost £7 (Adults) and £5 (Concessions)
Tickets Available online from www.prospecttheatre.co.uk, or by calling the Prospect theatre Box Office on 01761 438562.
In May half term, Writhlington student Zoe Barnes will be hiking up Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in aid of the charity Shelter. The big challenge is to climb one a day over three days. Zoe would love your support and if you would like to sponsor her please visit her justgiving page.
As part of World Down Syndrome day, held annually on 21st March, Writhlington ran a Mufti collection to raise money and awareness for local Down Syndrome charity Ups and Downs.
World Down Syndrome Day is a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. Each year the voice of people with Down syndrome and those who live and work with them, grows louder.
A total of £668.50 was raised by Writhlington and presented to Ups and Downs Southwest, a local charity that supports families, schools and people with Down Syndrome.
David Cudworth, Specialist Advisory Teacher for Ups and Downs, visited Writhlington to receive the donation. The check was presented by Sarah (Year 8) and Sam (Year 10), two students with Down Syndrome, who are currently studying at Writhlington.
David commented, ‘It means an awful lot to us as an organisation because we exist solely on funding and donations’. ‘This money could be used to fund the schools’ advisory service for a week or to pay for 14 visits from a family support worker to homes or hospitals when a child is born with downs. It all makes a huge difference’.
Eight Writhlington students battled through a weekend of wet and windy conditions on Dartmoor as they trained for the forthcoming annual Ten Tors challenge, held in May.
The Ten Tors challenge involves 2400 young hikers and explorers from across the UK. They compete in groups of 6 to navigate, 35, 45 or 55 mile routes across the moors.
Training intensified as the remaining 8 students in contention for a place set out across Dartmoor for their penultimate training session. After a gruelling 8 hours of walking in the constant rain, thick fog and poor visibility, students remained in good spirits and endeavored to stay on for the second day despite the drop out of many of the other schools.
‘The students were inspirational. Despite aches, pains and tears, they all insisted that they could make it through the second day’ said a member of staff.
As the last training weekend approaches and with only 6 places available in the final team, students will have to battle their way not only across the moors but also with each other to obtain the final spots and participate in the final challenge.
On Easter Saturday, Marianne Veater (y11), Tom Hunt (y11), Kira Harding (y12) and George Beechener (y13), who are all longstanding members of Writhlington Tennis club, were invited to attend a 'regional young volunteers forum' at Bath University. The course, which was provided by the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association - the Governing body for UK tennis), aimed to promote the potential career paths available in the sport.
Andy Trott, one of the LTA's Tennis Development Officers, emphasised that ‘sports coaching is not the only option open for young people’. There are many ways to pursue a career in tennis, - or any sport for that matter. Pathways now include marketing, running your own club, working for the LTA or even developing new tennis 'products' that aim to increase participation in the sport.
The regional forum offered students a chance to get involved in a range of activities and group sessions. Some of these varied activities included, running a 'mini tennis' tournament, and designing a viable and profitable tennis club, which culminated in a Dragons’ Den style presentation to the group.
As part of their A level choices, two of the students will also be starting Withington’s new Sixth Form Tennis Pathway which is set to launch in September. Through their contribution at the forum and active involvement in Writhlington tennis, it is hoped that they can help increase tennis participation throughout the school and offer all students the opportunity to further get involved with the sport.
This summer will mark the graduation of a Writhlington class, which began as an experiment and has become a community.
At the start of Year 9 a select group of boys was brought together to be taught English in a single-sex environment. The experiment was undertaken in order to ascertain whether a change in learning environment could lead to a marked improvement in results.
Academically each student achieved incredibly well and everybody should feel very proud of this. However, it is their social and personal achievements that are the real cause for applause. Over the past three years, a very positive, supportive and purposeful dynamic has grown between the group and it still continues to develop now.
Mr Fieldhouse, English Teacher commented “as a group they are focused, and actively engage with whatever text or task they are confronted with. Without exception, the young men of 11x/En2 have become mature, thoughtful and diligent individuals and I feel honoured to have witnessed this”.
On March 22nd, 41 students, years 9-13, and 7 members of staff embarked on a 24-hour coach journey to the Austrian ski resort of Kaprun, situated above the beautiful town of Zell Am See.
The Zell am See area is the perfect Easter ski location as the glacier offers great conditions throughout the whole season. This year proved to be no exception as the ski conditions were some of the best seen in years.
The students spent their days taking ski lessons and exploring the resorts’ various pistes, which are perfectly suited for all skill levels and which offer a diverse terrain. In the evening there was a varied assortment of Apres Ski activities, including curling, trampolining, indoor football and ten pin bowling.
Mr Edwards, one of the staff on the trip commented “It is great to have been able to offer this opportunity to students again. It has always been an excellent break and this year was no exception”.
All the students show excellent progression and by day two the beginners were starting to ski down blue slopes. By the final day both the intermediates and advanced groups progressed to an extremely high standard.
Mrs Chivers, a member of the staff, commented “All 41 students were absolutely amazing, both on and off the slopes. Everybody encouraged each other, mixed well, were polite and a real pleasure to spend the week with, they are fantastic ambassadors for Writhlington school and a real credit to their parents”.
Writhlington inclusive zone basketball (IZB) team has again emerged as the best in the Southwest after winning the Regional Schools Competition for the second year running.
Involving wheelchair and running basketball, IZB combines players with a mixed range of physical disability alongside their non-disabled classmates in a fast-paced adaption of the traditional basketball game.
Defending national champions Writhlington, were joined at the regionals by Bath’s, Ralph Allen School and Pool Academy from Cornwall. The teams were fighting to gain a precious place in the national finals, held at Worcester Arena on May 1st.
With only a few of last years Writhlington’s national winning team returning, Writhlington had a shaky start but managed to advance through to face Ralph Allen in the final. The Writhlington team stepped up a gear and achieved a convincing 4-0 victory to secure a second successive South West title and lock down their place at the national finals.
British Wheelchair Basketball education officer Matt Gibbs said: "It's a great testament to these schools in the region, building on the great coverage of wheelchair basketball and the Paralympic Games to create a real sporting legacy.”
Writhlington student, Aaron Griffiths, who assisted a roadside collision, has been given an award recognizing his bravery.
Aaron Griffiths attended a ceremony which celebrated the quick thinking and bravery demonstrated when faced with a car collision on his way to school. After witnessing the crash, Aaron rushed over to safe-guard the situation and perform first aid on the injured.
Aaron said “My cadet training kicked in straight away. I knew I had to make sure there was no further risk of danger from the cars and to assess the injuries of the passengers. After calling for an ambulance I attended those with head injuries, assuring they were comfortable and not at further risk”.
The Midsummer Norton platoon was pleased to hear of Aaron’s actions and were very proud to nominate him for the award.
“Aaron has been a pleasure to have in the platoon. He is a team player and is always first to offer assistance.’
Aaron was presented the Outstanding Cadet award by Rob Appleyard, Chairman of B&NES Council and Lady Gass, Lord Lieutenant of Somerset.
Seven Writhlington students have just returned from an expedition to the remote North Eastern Indian state of Sikkim to share knowledge and skills with local children as well as researching Himalayan orchid species.
The students, who are all part of the Writhlington School Orchid Project, worked with students and staff of the Taktse International School in Gangok to help develop Taktse's own orchid project.
Sixteen year old Matthew Bell explained, "We started by spending a day trekking in Fambong Lho forest reserve where we introduced the Sikkim students to the field identification of Himalayan orchid species. The next day we worked in Taktse school to build on the initial learning from the first day."
The group also trained Taktse students and staff to use data logging equipment to enhance science teaching and learning. Teacher Simon Pugh-Jones MBE described the group’s work in Sikkim as "very significant for the futures of the Gangtok students and an example of the very best of British students sharing there skills and knowledge to support the learning of others."
Writhlington's young orchid experts also spent a day at the Himalayan Institute for Natural History Art with internationally acclaimed artist Hemlata Pradhan and a group of her students. Sixteen year old Georgia Grant described the day as "Inspiring. Sharing our knowledge of orchids with the students and there knowledge of art showed us how art can play a significant part in conservation work".
Teacher, Sophie McDonnell commented that this was “the beginning of a lasting partnership between Writhlington School, Taktse School and the Himalayan Institute. Working together will benefit the students of all three institutions and we hope that these three schools together with our partner schools in Rwanda will form the basis of an international network of Orchid Schools working for conservation, sustainable development and educational excellence.”
As well as working in schools, the expedition to Sikkim gave Writhlington pupils an opportunity to observe Himalayan orchid populations. The target is to publish articles comparing conditions plants experience in the wild with the way students grow them in the Writhlington greenhouses. Sixteen year old Devin Read explained "I am studying Cymbidium devonianum which is an impressive orchid that I have been growing at Writhlington for five years. It was very interesting to see it in the wild and I am sure that my observations will help growers to get the best out of their plants."
Kew botanist, Dr Lauren Gardiner who accompanied the trip, noted the importance of the students’ field research, "Not only will the work help orchid growers but the experience of publishing articles will prepare Writhlington students for future scientific research."
An Internet blog is being set up to allow continued communication and cooperation with students until Writhlingon's next trip to Sikkim in 2015.
Three amazing geographers from Year 10 took part in the annual B&NES Worldwise Quiz against other local schools. The quiz is provided by the Geographical Association and the Writhlington Team fought through the first round to be placed a respectable fifth overall. Congratulations to Laura Heal, Oliver Beechener and Rosie Wadsworth pictured.
This month Aalsmeer, Holland, the ‘Flower Capital of the World’, turned into a hub for Elite International Trampoline Gymnasts. The small town just outside Amsterdam hosted the biannual International Trampoline Tournament seeing world-class Gymnasts compete together with those new to International Competitions.
Both Clubs and National Teams sent their best individual trampolinists in the Junior/Senior and Men’s/Women’s categories to compete in the International Aalsmeer Flower Cup. Emily who has been trampolining since 2011 competed alongside gymnasts from 21 different countries and gained valuable competition experience for future European and World Class events.
Having passed her first Trampoline Regional Grade in May 2011 Emily was promoted to National Grade C in February and subsequently was invited to compete at this International Competition. Emily is now looking forward to competing around the world.
Fine Art Textile students were treated to a workshop based on the Dung Beetle. Local artist Emma Carpenter uses the beetle as inspiration for her work and used it as a framework to encourage students to explore a theme taking drawings on a piece of canvas into batik and then quickly taking the same pieces through different techniques and processes in order to draw out their creativity.
It was a perfect demonstration of allowing work to evolve imaginatively. The students just said ‘ Can we do another workshop soon’ . Their work will be available for sale at the Chilcompton Fayre in July. (Photo shows art by Beth Williams)
Writhlington’s Key Stage 3 dancers shone at the B&NES Dance Umbrella on March 14th at Bath Forum in their piece to Rhianna’s “Diamond’s” pop song. The twelve students, both boys and girls, have been working towards the performance in Dance Club since January and the hard work paid off when they produced a confident performance in front of a sold out audience.
A total of 55 primary, secondary and special schools took part this year over three evenings with performances ranging from Key Stage 1 to A level. The evening was both enjoyable and inspiring and has given the students lots of ideas for the next piece of work.
Anyone who would like to get involved in dance club can e-mail Mrs Wilson for more details firstname.lastname@example.org
Writhlington Shop is a business established and run by students. The shop originally started just over a year ago with a handful of students and the support from teachers. The business has dramatically improved since then with a refurbishment of the shop premises, a wider product range and a doubling in the number of customers.
The team consists of ten students ranging from years 8 to 13. Working in Writhlington Shop allows the team to develop a variety of business skills and learn the real life aspects of running a business. At the shop each has a different role and responsibility but all share shifts to serve customers. The team is focussed on providing an excellent service and team members take all their responsibilities seriously including cleaning of the shop, ordering the stock and monitoring finances. The school shop is open every day during morning break and both lunch times to students and staff. The school shop sells a wide range of products from drinks such as 'Simply Fruity' to healthy snacks such as Apple Nutrigrain bars.
The team is constantly working to improve the school shop. We take pride in the role that we have within the school. The shop not only promotes the ability to take on responsibilities but also brings students closer together as a result. The team meets every week and the members have had a chance to get to know each other and form friendships across year groups. New members are always welcome, if you are interested please speak to one of the team at the shop.
The shop is located opposite the IT student support desk next to the dining room. Currently the shop only accepts payment by cash but hopes to accept student card payments in the near future. There are also plans to develop the product range further – please look out for the survey monkey.
Writhlington’s Sam Harvey is probably one of the youngest shepherds in the country. He currently has a small flock but is ambitious and has dreams of one day running a farm shop. Sam’s interest in farming began when he visited a commercial pig farm and decided to have a go himself. Sam has earned the money to buy livestock through part time jobs and also by applying for a grant from Timsbury Parish Council.
As well as studying for GCSEs at Writhlington, Sam is taking Environment and Land-based Studies at Norton Radstock College and is a member of Farrington Gurney’s Young Farmers’ Club. Sam works long hours to ensure his flock is well cared for and has a great future in farming.
Sam is pictured here with Headteacher, Mark Everett.
A group of Writhlington students were delighted to receive a letter from the British Heart Foundation thanking them for their donation of £159.19. The letter confirmed that heart disease is the nation’s biggest killer and that the money raised goes towards research to help beat the disease.
The students organized themselves to complete a charity cycling event in the school’s atrium using spin-bikes kindly loaned by Writhlington Sports Centre. Said Oliver Johnston, the teacher supporting the group “the students were very focused on raising the money and put a lot of effort into organizing their event which was a great success” (picture shows charity cycle organizers)
Four students from Years 8 and 9 recently took part in the Junior Team Maths Challenge at Millfield School, Street.
This is a well established and highly competitive event attracting state and private schools from all over the local area. Our team can be proud of how well they acquitted themselves, especially as there were some last minute replacements to the line-up. They enjoyed the challenge this event provided as it really made them think about and apply the Maths they have learned to different situations. They worked very well as a team and are looking forward to using what they have learned in similar events next year.
This year has seen the re-launch of an Eco group at Writhlington. It started with "Switch Off Fortnight" before Christmas which saw students and staff save energy, money and the environment by switching off lights and equipment when they were not in use. Recently the Eco team has started a recycling scheme which they hope to build on and expand in the near future. They are also looking at how to make the school more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Writhlington’s prestigious Football Academy team is currently in the midst of its strongest performing season to date – with many team based and individual player achievements being stacked up to add to their repertoire of experience.
Since the disappointing home loss to Millfield School in the later stages of the English Schools’ Cup, Writhlington got back on an even keel by beating them during the Somerset Schools’ Cup with a comfortable 4-1 victory, putting them into the quarter final of a competition which they have won for the past two years. The team also currently holds the top spot in the South West Counties Youth League, five points ahead of the nearest rival and with four games left to play.
Players Ryan Mitchell, Mitch Harrison, Lewis Shipp, Morgan Marsh and Sam Babatunde have also been regular players in Bath City’s under 21 development group this season. Ryan, Mitch, Lewis and Sam also made appearances with the Bath City first team on Tuesday 26th March, representing the team in the Somerset Senior Cup. They helped the team secure victory to reach the semi final. Morgan is also acting as Captain for the Somerset County Representatives side, and is joined by his fellow Writhlington teammates Sam, Nathan Legge and Matt McCarthy. In addition to this, Morgan and fellow team mate Joe Raynes have been offered scholarships to play and study in the United States!
Out of Writhlington Alumni who used to play for the team, both Martin Lenihan and Will Hailston are currently studying on the performance course at Bath University, and regularly play for the University team and Bath City under 21’s team
These exciting developments show that Writhlington continues to produce outstanding athletes and is doing all that it can to aid students who wish to take sport seriously. Congratulations to all of the students involved for giving it their all and doing us proud.
Writhlington School was delighted to host a presentation and a reading from author/ actor John Barrowman. John, famously renowned for his portrayal of Captain Jack Harkness in BBC 1’s Dr Who and Torchwood was accompanied by his sister Carole Barrowman, a professor of English and a reviewer of crime fiction and also co- author of John’s books including his 2008 autobiography ‘ Anything Goes’.
John and Carole spent Tuesday morning in Withington’s Prospect theatre, where they talked about their new book ‘Bone Quill’ which is set in the Middle Ages.
They addressed all the students in Year 8 about the novel’s plot, concept and characterisation. The students were asked to participate in an opportunity to create their own Art work, embracing John’s impression of the Middle Ages and to depict a mythological creature describe in the novel. Students were invited to send their Art work to John and Carole, where they will be displayed in their ‘Beast Gallery’.
The Barrowmans signed books for the students before they rushed off to a public promotional book signing at Waterstone’s in Bath.
Writhlington School also hosted published children and teenage author Karen Saunders the day before. Karen addressed the Year 7 students about her new novel ‘ME, Suzy P’, a hilarious tale of a teenager trying to navigate the perils of school, families and boys!
The annual Chairman’s Awards took place at The Guildhall, Bath, on 27th February with representatives from Writhlington nominated across three categories.
Chairman of Bath and North East Somerset Council, Councillor Rob Appleyard and Stephanie Millward, Paralympic swimmer and London 2012 five times medallist, presented awards and had photographs taken with all the nominees.
Congratulations to Paul Hurley (pictured), nominated for “Coach of the Year”; Daisy Johnson, nominated for “Young Volunteer of the Year” and Corey Walkes, nominated for “Young Achiever in Sport”.
Last week saw two teams from Writhlington enter the Year 10 Maths Team Challenge event that took place at Abbeyfield School, Chippenham. The students enjoyed the challenge an event like this provides as it really does stretch and test the most able mathematicians. Congratulations to both teams who worked well both as individuals and as teams and who held their own against state and public schools in this regional final. This is the first time this event has taken place and they are already looking forward to the year 11 competition next year.
Congratulations to 7JW who won the first Year 7 tutor group sports competition organised by our new Sixth Form Sports Management Team. This term the event was indoor athletics, tutors sent 6 representatives from their tutor group to take part in the following events: Shot Putt, Standing Long Jump, Standing Triple Jump, Vertical Jump, Speed Bounce and 6 lap relay.
Points were awarded to the tutor groups whose competitors came first, second and third in their events. 7JW scored 25, followed closely by 7JCO with 24, 7PJM came in third place with 19, 7HEA achieved fourth with 15, 7FCS/7SMC/7AWE all scored 10 points and 7PAH/7MJW came in joint ninth place with 7 points.
Well done to all Year 7’s who took part and to the Sports Management Team who organised it. We are hoping to organise another event soon so look out for details. If there are any other sixth formers who would like to get involved with our Sports Management Team then please contact Mrs Wilson –email@example.com
Forty five pupils from nine local primary schools enjoyed an afternoon of Gymnastics, hosted and organised by Writhlington School on Monday 25th February.
The nine schools, all members of the Midsomer Norton Games Association, came together for the annual Year 3/ 4 Gymnastics Competition. During the afternoon pupils competed a floor routine and vault that they had all been busy practicing and perfecting during and after school since January. They were also given the opportunity to explore some of the other pieces of equipment on offer in the Gymnastics Centre and participated in a variety of activities led by students from Writhlington.
The pupils performed with confidence and panache and were a credit to their schools and teachers. The afternoon finished with a presentation of medals confirming the team from Farrington Gurney as the Level 1 winners and the all male team from Westfield as the Level 2 winners.
Writhlington will also be hosting the Y5/6 competition on April 15th if there are any Writhlington students who would like to get involved please contact Mrs Wilson - firstname.lastname@example.org
The Year 10 rugby team has continued its unbeaten run in the Super 8 State Schools' Cup by beating Beechen Cliff in the Semi-final 12-0. This is a fantastic result - match report to follow.
Students from Writhlington School have just returned from a ground breaking visit to Rwanda in Central Africa where they have been working to set up orchid projects in Rwandan Schools.
Zoe Parfitt, aged seventeen, described the trip as the most amazing week of her life saying, “We visited four schools and in each one gave presentations and workshops to staff and students about the possibilities of setting up orchid propagation laboratories to develop education and conservation. We were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and interest of the students and the future for the project looks really exciting.”
The students lead by teacher Simon Pugh-Jones were all experts in orchids thanks to their involvement in Writhlington School’s Orchid Project. The project combines science horticulture and student enterprise and is currently working with conservation partners in India and Laos. Since 2011 teachers and students have been working to develop a new initiative in Rwanda in Central Africa. The target for this months’ expedition, to Rwanda, was to establish partner organisations and support networks for the development of a project based on setting up specialist laboratories in the country.
As well as visiting schools, the group explored the Nyungwe National Park, Africa’s largest mountain rainforest reserve, and the worked at the Kitabi Conservation College.
Simon Pugh-Jones, explained “Rwanda is a remarkable country with great biodiversity especially in orchid species. Nyungwe forest is a majestic tropical forest and has the potential to act as a focus for effective science and conservation education in Rwandan schools and beyond. Kitabi College is a regional centre of excellence and it was a pleasure to work with acting principle Richard Nasasira and Diploma students to share our knowledge of orchids and their propagation.”
Writhlington School’s initiative is supported by the Rwandan Education Board and during the trip students held meetings with several officials including the State Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Mathias Harebamungu.
The visit also attracted the interest of the national Rwandan media with Writhlington students appearing on Rwandan TV and in the national newspaper.
Fifteen year old Zoe Barnes who manages Writhlington’s orchid propagation laboratory explained, “It was great to be on TV and in the newspapers but the best part was meeting lots of Rwandan School children and having the chance to share our enthusiasm for orchids with them.”
Zoe also enjoyed exploring the rainforest, “Nyungwe forest was amazing. We found and photographed some really special orchid species, saw incredible birds and primates and experienced the heaviest rain I have ever seen. I guess that that is why it’s called a rainforest.”
By the end of the expedition five schools and colleges had committed to joining the project. The next stage will be in July 2013 when teachers and scientists from Rwanda fly to the UK to learn techniques from Writhlington students and meet Writhlington’s partner scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Bristol University. This visit will be followed in 2014 by the next Writhlington student visit to Rwanda to commission six orchid propagation laboratories and share laboratory skills with Rwandan school children.
The Writhlington Orchid Project has an open morning from 10am to 1pm on Saturday March 9th when the public can learn all about the Rwandan expedition as well as seeing the school orchids at their best and having a chance to buy orchids and Rwandan crafts for Mothers Day.
Former sixth form student, Alexandra Hull, has reported back from New Zealand where she and compatriot Jack Greenwood, are working as tennis coaches during a gap year. Alex tells us what it is like coaching on the other side of the world and how Writhlington's Tennis Centre helped both of them gain vital experience in the sport they love.
She says “Both Jack and I have been playing tennis from a young age and we were given the opportunity to achieve coaching qualifications at Writhlington's Tennis Centre. Our coaching was sponsored by Malcolm Eglin until we were 16 years old. As well as this we took part in the Tennis Leaders’ course, run by Mandy Stonier, which gave us an insight into the world of tennis coaching. We both had a great time on the course and we quickly clocked up our volunteer hours. We later completed our LTA Levels 1 and 2 coaching qualifications, which gave us the knowledge and skills required to be better coaches as well as opening the door for future opportunities - and getting paid for it was a bonus!
Having the Tennis Centre at Writhlington has made a real difference to us. We started as assistants to coaches Patrick Lodge and Tom Entwhistle, learning from their techniques and methods of coaching. We learned how to teach groups of different ages, abilities and sizes. Patrick acted as our mentor and was happy to help and guide us through all our questions. He gave us advice about how to prepare lessons to suit the needs of particular players. He had many great ideas and it was fantastic that we had the opportunity to learn from him.
Living in a different country without our family nearby means that we have to act and think more independently than we would at home. We have learned quickly about budgeting, self management and how to be very organised. We have a tight schedule where we coach at many different clubs and we look after public enquiries in the absence of the manager so are picking up all sorts of skills and broadening our experience.
I definitely feel that it was the right decision for me to have a gap year. I am doing something I love and at the same time have the opportunity to travel and experience a different culture. I am learning what full time coaching would be like as a career. I think the Universities I apply for will recognise that I am more mature, independent and ready for university.
A Year 7 student at Writhlington has continued the school's tradition of producing outstanding athletes by winning a prestigious golf tournament. Ben Daymond, (aged 12), won The Secretaries Cup for 2012 (a men's competition), with a gross score of 73 and a net score of 63. The silver cup has to remain at West Wiltshire Golf Club, but Ben has brought home a silver medal to keep as a memento of his success.
Ben's handicap is now 9, and he is receiving coaching from John Jacobs at Cumberwell Golf Club. He will be representing Wiltshire County when their games begin in the spring. Clearly an athlete to look out for in the future.
As project X Launched at Writhlington, students were given the opportunity to apply to become creative ambassadors for their peers. Students will be working with Writhlington teachers and will also be joined by artist Lucy Cassidy of 5x5x5 Creative, an independent arts-based research organisation which aims to push creativity in young people. Over the next five weeks, they will create a series of unique pieces of work which will showcase their creativity.
On their first mission, students embarked on an adventure, taking to the streets of Bath on a treasure hunt. From Caesar Cipher and Morse code to secret passageways, students were challenged through a series of mystery activities to develop their creativity and independent thinking. They collected artefacts, images, sounds and smells throughout the day and presented these in their own mini galleries at the Ustinov Theatre.
It was inspiring to see students so engaged in their work, so keen to explore new ideas and so enthused by the opportunity to take ownership for their own learning
Members of Writhlington School’s Orchid Project will be heading out to the African nation of Rwanda for an expedition on Saturday 9th February. The expedition team will consist of 3 students and 2 staff, who will be taking Orchids grown at Writhlington along with them.
The trip will be covered by the team and regular updates will be featured on the group’s blog.
Best of luck to everyone involved and we look forward to reading their updates!
Jessica Young in Year 7 loves music. She started learning the trombone in September last year and is already a great enthusiast. Having an iPad has brought an additional dimension to her love of music. Jessica has the app “GarageBand” on her iPad and has been composing her own music using the instruments on the app and pre-recorded loops. Jessica is trying to encourage others to have a go and wants to share her music as examples of what can be done. Jessica says “These are just two of the pieces I have composed. One is called “Around the World" and the other is called “Emotions”. I hope you like them!”
If you would like to hear Jessica's songs, please copy and paste the following links into your browser.
Writhlington has a dedicated group of year 8 students learning Mandarin and last week they had an opportunity to develop their language skills and knowledge of Chinese culture exploring the British Museum and London's China Town.
The British Museum's impressive Chinese collections were the focus of students work. The Museum's China Consultant, James Trapp, introduced the diversity and splendour of 4000 years of Chinese art and culture.
James was impressed by the commitment of the group and the trip is the first step in setting up some exciting collaborations between the Museum and Writhlington School.
On Thursday 17th January, a group of Year 7 and 8 students from Writhlington were entered in the B&NES Indoor Athletics Competition, taking place at Wellsway School. The all-girl group represented Writhlington brilliantly by putting on a wonderful performance that would ultimately land them second place and give them the opportunity to join the Year 7 boys’ team in representing B&NES at the Avon final.
Year 7 student, Rose Vallis, came in first place during both the six lap race and the shot put, whilst Flossie Ahmet won her triple jump event. Other notable performances came from Megan Davis in the two lap race, and Lizzie Finch in the four lap race.
The final was held on the 28th January at the University of West England. There was one change to the Year 7 girls’ team for the final, with Lowri Bryant-Young replacing Chloe McGiveron. Once again the Writhlington students gave it their all, and were able to put on some fantastic performances in the face of excellent competition.
The boys did very well, with Tuso Makombe winning all of his events and helping Writhlington to secure victory in the 4x2 relay. Gene Norris also excelled, winning the shot put competition convincingly. Boys Captain, Iwan Tudor, also came in at a very respectable second place in the six lap race.
The year 7 girls came in seventh place overall, while the boys only just missed out on a Bronze medal by coming in 4th. All students involved in the competition have now been given the opportunity to attend the Avon individual trials next month. We'd like to say a big well done to all of the students involved for doing so well and representing the school with such pride!
Year 7 Boys team: Iwan Tudor (Captian), Tuso makombe (Vice-captain), Charlie Hall, Oliver Swales, Gene Norris, Daniel Rees, Corey walkes, Lewis Bon Kendall
Year 7 Girls team: Katie Duffy (Captain), Florence Ahmet (Vice-captain), Isabelle Davila, Megan Davis, Shayla Ineiyeri, Mia Church, Rose Vallis, Chloe Mcgiveron
Year 8 Girls team: Lydia Simmonds (Captain), Tegan Rush (Vice-Captain), Lizzie Finch, Kaya Fox, Olivia Collins, Rio-tchi Montgomery
This week, Year 10 Business Studies students at Writhlington were visited by guest speakers from Zest Media, a local media planning agency. Zest specialises in media planning as well as advertising and buying, and mainly supplies services to independent businesses and local schools. Representatives of the agency were on hand to give the students valuable presentations on the power of advertising, discuss the methods of driving sales, and offer them step by step information on what it takes to start your own business in the economic climate of today.
Zest has also given the classes an amazing opportunity by involving them in a competition to create a new slogan for the company. The winning slogan will be featured on the Zest Media website, and the winning group will be featured in the local press and newspapers as well as receiving a £50 Itunes voucher for their efforts. We'd like to thank Zest for visiting us, and we are looking forward to seeing what the students can come up with!
After their highly successful run of this show in Bath, Award Winning Exit Stage Left are restaging this show at Writhlington’s Prospect Theatre on 23rd February at 7.30pm to raise funds for the company.
Following from the acclaim that the show received in August, and building on the success of award winning production ’A New Brain’ last year, Exit Stage Left return with the longest running off-Broadway musical; I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. The show astutely charts the trials and tribulations of being single, dating, marriage, loss and heartbreak, and will leave you thinking, were they talking about me? The show contains adult themes which may not be suitable for the under 12s.
Exit Stage Left is a company of Actors, Musicians and Performers who aim to produce New and Exciting Theatre. So please, support the company by coming to watch the ONE NIGHT ONLY production of I Love You, You’re Perfect Now Change.
All tickets available from Andrew English on 07540 554755.
"An energetic, slick, focused and truly wonderful production"
"It is always so lovely to write about a production that I have genuinely enjoyed from start to finish. I loved it. 'Twas Perfect. Don't change."
- Rosebowl Review 2012
Ticket £9.50 or £7.50 (Students and OAPs)
Writhlington's part in the ESFA Cup was set in motion with an away game at John O'Gaunt School, Trowbridge. This second round game saw Writhlington asserting themselves early on and finishing the match with a comfortable 8-0 victory over their hosts. The next match in the tournament took place on home turf against Chew Valley School, which fell on a day when the team was also participating in a College fixture. The squad was stretched and found its ranks thinned as a result, but the team was able to call up reserves in the form of Matt Spencer and Reece Croker, who were drafted in from the Cricket Academy. A 3-0 victory over the visitors saw Writhington propelled into the third round, earning themselves another away fixture in Oxford, to play against King Alfred's Academy.
Despite conceding a goal during the first half, Writhlington came back in style with goals from Sam Babatunde, Matt McCarthy and Morgan Marsh, who capitalized on the two goals scored by Eliot Gibbens. By the time the final whistle was blown, the score was 5-2 to Writhlington. The victory not only secured Writhlington's place in the fifth round, it also cemented the confidence of the team and gave the players focus, the realization that getting to such a stage in a prestigious national competition was an excellent opportunity.
Writhlington's fifth round appearance was yet another away game, this time in Reading against Little Heath School. This was a symbolic match for player Godsen Umeh, as he was returning to his former school as a member of the opposing team. Little Heath took the lead early on, but this did not discourage Writhlington, who quickly equalized. Man of the Match, Jordan Ricketts, belted the ball into the back of the net on two occasions, adding to goals by Nathan Legge and Josh Williams. A final score of 4-1 meant that Writhlington was through to the sixth round.
The sixth round saw Writhlington playing away from home for a third consecutive game as they took on St Peter's School in Bournemouth. The boys initially had a rough time, struggling to make chances or create space on a difficult pitch, but the team drew on their experience from previous games and quickly found their rhythm. Prominent goalscorer Matt McCarthy was able to prod one in from a set piece while Jordan Ricketts scored yet again, making him Writhlington's top scorer of the season. The final whistle was delayed due to an injury but ultimately Writhlington were to prevail, beating their opponents 2-0 and earning themselves place in round seven.
The seventh round qualifier saw Writhlington's first home appearance for 4 games time as they were due to play against Millfield School of Somerset. Heavy frost initially looked as though it would prevent the game from being played on the pitch, but with some help from the site technicians, Mrs Passingham's class of year 8 girls and every available brush that could be found, the frost covering was brushed away and the game was able to go ahead thanks to the excellent community spirit of both site staff and students.
Writhington began the game with a strong performance, creating multiple opportunities while attacking confidently, but never quite managing to follow through and score. A few more missed chances led to a boost of confidence in the Millfield ranks and they were able to counter-attack, and score with a runaway goal 55 minutes into the game. Unfortunately, Writhlington were not able to equalize in due course and Millfield took the game 1-0.
Despite feeling deflated at the loss and knowing the game was close and could have gone either way, the Writhlington players exited the competition with their heads held high, knowing that they had made it to the final sixteen in a tournament that initially began with 578 schools.
Best of luck to Millfield in the quarter finals, and we look forward to participating again next year!
Writhlington played host to the local rounds of the Lady Taverners Cricket Tournament at both Under 13 and Under 15 age groups. The Under 13 tournament began with teams from Wellsway, King Edward's and Millfield Preparatory Schools. Writhlington, 68 runs for 1 wicket, defeated King Edward's, 55 runs for 6 wickets, in their first game; Abi Tonks and Ashleigh Summerell batting particularly well and being forced to retire as they reached their maximum score. Unfortunately they were unable to reproduce the result in the final against Millfield and despite putting up a valiant effort were defeated by 23 runs.
Writhlington Under 15 side was up against Wellsway School. A slightly different format was used with both teams playing two innings of 6 overs. After the first innings Writhlington had control finishing on 62 to Wellsway’s 58; a very tense match followed but great batting and fielding from the entire team saw Writhlington home by 20 runs.
Writhlington are now through to the B&NES final and await news of their opponent. Particular mentions must go to Emily Finch who had to retire on maximum score in both innings, Alice Stockley for "the catch of the day" and Katie Buurman for disposing of key players by great throwing to run them out.
Although the snow and ice can make life difficult for some, Writhlington students took the opportunity during break and lunch to have fun and keep warm whilst building a series of snowmen. Here are some of their creations. Click on the thumbnails to see the full size image.
Year 10 Business groups have recently Skyped during their lesson with Neil Westwood, the Managing Director of Magic Whiteboard. The company has an innovative product creating a whiteboard from a roll, which grabbed the imagination of the Dragons. (http://www.magicwhiteboard.co.uk/)
Neil gave the students an insight into what is involved in running and owning a business, being an entrepreneur and the ups and downs of getting a new product to market. He also spoke in depth about working with Theo Phaphitis and Deborah Meaden, the Dragons who had chosen to invest in the company.
On a very cold afternoon, Writhlington Year 10 rugby squad headed across to Stothert and Pitt RFC for the Regional Rugby Cup final against Beechen Cliff School.
After easily beating their opponents earlier on in the season, Writhlington were not expecting the difficult and hard fought match that followed. Both teams defended well and with the first half ending 0-0, the match was too close to call.
For a long time, both teams failed to capitalize on the few opportunities that they were granted, until with eight minutes remaining Beechen Cliff were awarded a penalty in front of the posts, they choose to kick and scored 3 points.
Writhlington had to dig deep and tried to find a way back into the game. With just one minute remaining Writhlington were awarded a penalty 25 meters out of the opposition’s posts. Ollie Lakey stepped up to take the kick; he lined it up, took some deep breaths and struck it coolly and calmly. The ball rose over the cross bar between the sticks.
The score was tied at 3-3. It was agreed that both teams had played admirably so the trophy was shared.
Writhlington coach Paul Hurley commented “the squad is fantastic and the school should be so proud of all the boys have achieved.”
Writhlington Year 7 student Corey Walkes did an excellent job of representing the school, by winning the Southern Zonal Schools Trampoline Championships in the under 13 boys elite group.
The regional Championship was held in Bristol on Sunday 13th of January. His victory now means that he progresses through to the British Schools National Championships on March 9th in Canning, Staffordshire.
To find out more about Corey’s progression to this stage visit:
Iwan Tudor in Year 7 achieved third place out of 37 runners at the Avon Schools’ Cross Country at Blaise Castle.
The competition comprised of the top runners from the counties of Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset and Bristol.
Iwan gained his place at the championships when he won the Bath and North East Somerset Schools Cross Country Championships last November a whole minute ahead of the next competitor.
At the Avon Schools Championships at Blaise Castle, the 2800 metre course challenged the runners with open grassland, rocky woodland and ankle deep mud in many places.
Iwan and the runners who came first and second ran ahead of the field for the entire race, breaking away from the rest of the field by approximately 30 metres.
By finishing third Iwan qualified for the South West Schools’ Cross Country Championships on 2nd February where he will compete against the best runners from the South West counties, including some boys over a year older than him.
This stunning picture, called ‘Jurassic Mist’ taken by Tilly Rose Bellinger, snatched this year’s 11-16 category in the National Trust’s ‘Your Space’ photographic competition.
More than 5,700 entries were submitted in the four categories of the competition, which ran from May until August 2012.
Photographers were asked to capture the spirit of Trust founder, Octavia Hill, on camera and celebrate her passionate belief in the importance of green space and spending time in the outdoors.
A panel of experts, including the acclaimed photographers Mary McCartney, Joe Cornish, Arnhel de Serra, Charlie Waite and National Trust Photographic Manager, Chris Lacey, discussed and debated the shortlisted images to come up with the four category winners and then an overall competition winner.
The judges commented ‘Many of the images we saw were very sophisticated and Tilly’s is no exception. This is an atmospheric picture – you sense how special the place is to the photographer and the use of black and white is super’.
The New Year's Honours list includes an MBE for Simon Pugh-Jones for Services to Education.
Simon, who has been teaching at Writhlington since 1989, has become well known for innovation in science and enterprise especially through his development of the Writhlington School Orchid Project.
The Orchid project has involved students in global conservation, research and horticultural excellence for more than twenty years with highlights including gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show and expeditions to some of the world's most remote tropical habitats.
Simon's students have explored the forests of Central and South America, the Himalayas, South East Asia and Africa and worked with community groups and schools to support effective conservation through raising orchids from seed in laboratories. As Simon says, "There is no experience for young students interested in science and horticulture quite like travelling to remote areas like Southern Laos to share their laboratory skills with local people and help to make a real difference for conservation and rural development."
Simon's work with orchids also contributes to the curriculum at Writhlington and scientific research carried out by Simon's students has been recognised with a host of national awards including the British Association’s European Science Prize and the Society of Biology Science Prize.
Students at Writhlington have also benefited from the enterprise aspect of Simon's initiatives. The Orchid Project is recognised as Britain's foremost school enterprise funding student work in tropical countries and supporting a host of other enterprise initiatives at Writhlington and elsewhere.
On the award of his MBE Simon explained, "I am delighted that the work of my students has been recognised as well. This recognition will help us in our continuing efforts to develop initiatives for the benefit of communities in tropical countries and will ensure that our students can continue to learn from their considerable contribution”.
2013 will be a significant year for Simon and the Orchid Project with expeditions this spring to both Rwanda to work with Rwandan schools and to Sikkim in the Himalayas to continue Writhlington's joint project with the secondary schools of Gangtok.
A local business man took the time to speak to 124 year 11 Business Studies students on Monday 3rd December to discuss how he led the project team which successfully delivered the catering services to Athletes from around the world in the three Athlete Villages for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Topics such as recruitment, distribution, supply, finance and logistics were introduced, alongside some interesting facts about the amount of food consumed by the athletes over the 6 week period. Did you know over 1.1 million bananas were consumed alongside 130 tonnes of cheese!
The students asked some probing questions at the end, including how he got involved in the industry, the finance and bidding process and the risks involved in such a huge operation. The students were also able to read tweets from athletes praising the service they received, including one from Lord Seb Coe.
Mr. Morton, KS5 Business Studies Manager at Writhlington School, said “It’s great when business people give up their time to talk to the students. It really brings ideas discussed in the classroom to life.”
The sporting celebrity theme continued this month with a visit from England cricketer, Caroline Atkins.
Caroline was a member of the England Women's Cricket team, which retained the ashes while on tour in Australia in 2008. She also broke the record for the highest stand in women's One Day International Cricket with a first wicket partnership of 268 with Sarah Taylor at Lord's for England against South Africa.
Caroline is a level 2 coach and a “Chance to Shine” ambassador. Caroline’s coaching skills were put into action on her visit to Writhlington.
Caroline spent the day at school visiting classes from Years 7 to 10 and sharing her endless enthusiasm with a the students. The visit culminated in a fun coaching and match session for the girls.
P.E teacher at Writhlington, Karla Passingham commented ‘It was a fantastic experience for all and the Writhlington girls’ cricket teams hope to put their newfound skills to the test when their indoor season begins again in January’.
Year 7 student, Corey Walkes, did an excellent job representing Writhlington in the South West regional schools trampolining competition held last weekend by the British Schools Gymnastic Association (B.S.G.A).
Each competitor competes a 'set' routine followed by their own 'voluntary' routine, which can have a maximum tariff or technical difficulty of 7.0.
Corey performed a strong set routine, gaining the only 9s to be awarded in his group. His voluntary routine containing three double somersaults scored him a total of 58.100 and a well-deserved 1st place, a full 5 points ahead of 2nd place. Corey was awarded the South West Regional U13 Elite Boys trophy and a place in the next stage of the competition.
Last year he entered the under 11s Elite age group and won all three rounds to be awarded the British Schools National Elite U11 Boys title. He was awarded his trophy by London Olympics 2012 women’s trampolining competitor, Kat Driscoll. This year, although Corey has moved up an age group and is one of the youngest competitors in the Under 13s, he hopes to give his best perfomances to represent Writhlington with pride in the Southern Zonal Championships to be held again in Bristol on 13th January 2013.
Corey, a long-term member of the high flyers trampoline club in Cheddar commented’ It was really great to win the competition and trophy. I am really excited about getting to the next round’.
Year 10 Jessica White also represented the school in the competition, competing for her first time in the elite level category. There were 32 competitors in her category, 17 were national level. Jessica performed incredibly well and came in an excellent 12th place.
A group of brave teachers at Writhlington School have recently endured the challenging and dangerous task of growing a moustache throughout the whole month of November. The group set their top lips to work and underwent the itchy undertaking in aid of the men’s health charity, Movember UK.
Each Mo Bro started the 1st of November with a clean-shaven face. For the entire month each Mo Bro must grow and groom a moustache. There is to be no joining of the mo to the sideburns (that’s considered a beard), there’s to be no joining of the handlebars to the chin (that’s considered a goatee).
Mo Bros effectively become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November and through their actions and words raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often-ignored issue of men’s health.
The group managed to generate a hair raising £429 for men’s health, specifically prostate and testicular cancer.
Paralympic swimmer Kate Grey visited Writhlington earlier this week as part of the Sky Sports ‘ Living for Sport’ programme. Kate is the second guest speaker from Sky Sports to come to Writhlington. International rugby star Jo Yapp had already visited the previous week to deliver sessions to students.
Kate represented GB at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics. She went on to win a silver medal in the 100m breaststroke and bronze in the 100m Individual Medley at the World Championships in 2009. Unfortunately, illness meant Kate missed out on qualifying for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. However she still has the hunger to achieve her dream of winning a Paralympic medal and hopes to compete at the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.
Kate commented “Sport has made me realise that I may be different but I can still do the same things as everybody else. It has helped me to learn lifelong skills such as teamwork, leadership and communication which I can now use in all aspects of my life.”
Kate spoke about her disability and sporting career before delivering practical sessions to students in years 7, 8, 9 and 10.
For more information on Living for Sport and to view the Jo Yapp article go to:
http://www.wsbe.org.uk/news.php?page=read-news&id=190&headline=International Women%92s rugby star visits Writhlington
Pictured: Kate Grey with year 7 students
The Writhlington team known as “Writlightening” is celebrating winning the trophy for core values at a regional technology competition.
On the 27th November a group of 9 students visited the HP labs in Bristol to take part in the first lego league south west competition 2012. The day started with an introduction to the event and a dance on the stage, even Mr Whittaker danced the YMCA. The team then presented the research project to the judges, watched the other groups in the area, and listened to their ideas. After all the presentations were given the robot competition began. The team completed 3 rounds, with the best score being used. The team scored 115 in the first round, 75 in the second, and 140 in the last achieving 12th place. During a visit from the judges the team discussed the robot design, and justified why it was designed in that way. Half way through the day the team was given balloons and asked to create something: the balloon hat was very popular, and a balloon parade was held to show of all the creative ideas.
The teams then gathered in the main competition hall for the results, where the Writhlington Team won the “Core Values” trophy, awarded for the group that worked best as a team and were courteous towards the other teams.
Report written by Heather Limond Y11
International women’s rugby star Jo Yapp spent the day teaching students at Writhlington School as part of the Sky Sports ‘Living for sport’ program.
Sky Sports ‘Living for Sport’ is a free secondary schools initiative that uses sport stars and sport skills to boost confidence, change behaviours, increase attainment and improve life skills for students in Britain.
Jo gained her first international rugby win at the age of 18 and went on to play for her country 70 times, competing in three World cups, gaining two silver medals and captaining the team in 2005/06.
Her budding sporting career meant she had to learn how to balance study and sport, entering the 1998 World cup whilst revising for her A-levels. This demanded exceptional organisational skills in order to commit time to both training and schoolwork.
Jo spoke about her career and life in sport and delivered sessions on team building, fitness training and diet to students from a range of different year groups.
This is Jo’s third term as a Sky Sports Living for Sport Athlete Mentor. She says: “The programme allows you to deliver a message to all students - not just those that are interested in sport. It sets out clear values and skills that students can relate to in order to reach their own personal goals, whatever they may be.”
On the 3rd of December Kate Grey, a Paralympic swimmer will also be coming to Writhlington as part of the ‘Living for Sport’ scheme.
It has been an excellent start to the term for the Writhlington U19 Football Academy.
Since bowing out of the FA Youth Cup to AFC Totten in a disappointing match the squad has responded well. The team took a step back, assessed where improvement was required and since then has produced some really positive results and pleasing performances.
Newport County were the first visitors to Twerton Park (Mayday Trust). Newport is always challenging opponents so this was a test of character after a disappointing week. Several players produced their best performances to date in a great team performance. Sam Babatunde, Elliot Gibbens, Ben Royall and Joe Raynes scored the goals and produced outstanding performances along with Morgan Marsh and Jake Miller. Result 4-0.
The following week saw a 2-1 victory over strong opponents, Forest Green Rovers.
A test of the team’s mental approach followed with a trip to Poole Town, a team without any points. Poole town took the lead but with a strong ethic and determination Writhlington came back to win 6-3.
Current league holders Salisbury came to Writhlington on Saturday. This was a tough game which tested both teams physically. The players produced another outstanding team performance sealing a 4-0 win to take Writhlington top of the league.
Sandwiched in between these fixtures was the Somerset Premier cup match away at Wellington. Supported by some of the senior first team squad, eight of the youth team played and superbly represented the academy and club.
Lewis Shipp and Ryan Mitchell have played for the under 21-development team this season, showing that the overall progress of the squad is extremely positive.
A group of students at Writhlington School raised a total of £310 for Children in Need last week. Students did a six hour sponsored climb on a climbing wall at Writhlington Sport Centre. The total amount raised was supported by the sale of homemade cakes and badges throughout the day.
In the 6 hours of climbing the pupils scaled the wall a total of 660 times, which is equivalent to climbing 5.4km. Joe Hobbs, Liam Nice, Liam Jones and Chloe Gale took it in turns to climb with additional support coming from James Lilley selling badges, Sammy Edwards selling cakes and Lurecia Deacon organising the climbs for other students.
Matt Shafto, teacher at Writhlington commented, “I am so proud of the 7 pupils that set this up and ran the event. They have worked really hard to make sure this was a success and it has definitely paid off.”
As part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, Writhlington students spent a whole day learning more about the business world.
Global entrepreneurship week is the world’s largest campaign to promote entrepreneurship, taking place in 115 countries. The aim is to create a collaborative, local and practical week of activities that enables students to learn more about the support available to entrepreneurs in the UK, encourage students to think about starting up their own business and improve skills for aspiring entrepreneurs.
With the government putting increased emphasis in start up businesses and offering new loans for entrepreneurs, this enterprise day was a great opportunity for Writhlington students to develop their business acumen.
The school transformed its atrium into a stock market trading floor so that Year 11 students could participate in the ‘Stock Market Challenge’, a simulated stock trading activity that builds on a number of enterprise skills such as teamwork, communication, risk taking, decision making and problem solving.
Years 7 to 10 took part in a range of other enterprise activities with tutors, culminating in the design of a t-shirt to be made and sold in school for next year’s “Children in Need”.
Paul Mann, Head of Business Studies at Writhlington commented 'This year’s Enterprise Day was really exciting. There were a number of unusual activities planned with a link to “Children in Need”. Not only did these activities allow students to both develop their enterprise skills but also raise awareness of the work of the Children In Need charity”.
Four sixth formers entered the regional final of the Senior Maths Team Challenge held at Frenchay Campus, UWE. It is the second time Writhlington students have entered this competition which is open to all schools in the Bristol and surrounding areas. The team held its own and improved on last year’s result, finishing amongst the top state schools. Several local schools were in a close battle until the end with Writhlington prevailing against Norton Hill and Chew Valley Schools. The students really enjoyed the evening, especially the challenge and the opportunity to show their extended knowledge outside of the A Level syllabus.
In recognition of World Diabetes Day on the 14th of November, Writhlington students participated in special themed assemblies and raised a massive £1047 as part of a mufti day being held at the school. The theme was ‘Think blue, wear blue’, students and staff were asked to wear blue clothing or denim to emphasize the importance of the diabetes blue circle which is the symbol chosen to promote diabetes awareness.
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) set up World Diabetes Day to combat the global rise of the condition.
The main aim of the day is to increase awareness amongst students and encourage health improvement to people potentially at risk.
While the themed campaigns last the whole year, the day itself is celebrated on November 14 to mark the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, discovered insulin in 1922.
The 2012 campaign is particularly important for the school as the special focus this year is on children and young people. The aim is to increase awareness of the symptoms and warning signs for diabetes. In many cases Type 2 diabetes can be prevented through healthy eating and participating in physical activities.
Year 8’s Olivia Collins and Abigail Beaumont ran assemblies about World Diabetes Day and organized the mufti day collection. Olivia commented, “I have a family member with Type 1 Diabetes and I feel it is important to increase awareness among students and raise money for diabetes research and support for people with the condition’
Pictured: Year 8 organisers: Abigail Beaumont & Olivia Collins
Four students from Year 11 took part in the first ever B&NES Year 11 Maths Team Challenge. It was a hard fought competition which was neck and neck to the last round. The team almost qualified for the regional final and beat teams from Prior Park and King Edward’s School. The students enjoyed the extension and challenge required and the team work necessary to compete. This has whetted the appetite and students in all year groups are looking forward to entering future Maths competitions.
During half term five Writhlington students and their teacher travelled out to the Suzhou Foreign Language School, China, as part of a cultural exchange between schools in the Suzhou district and surrounding Bath area.
Beechen Cliff, Hayesfield and King Edward’s Schools also took part in the exchange making a total of 33 students and 7 teachers in all.
The Writhlington students spent an exciting few days in the Chinese schools, teaching Chinese students and in return receiving lessons in the Chinese art of Kung Fu, Calligraphy and Mandarin.
Alongside working and learning in the Chinese schools the students participated in an array of cultural activities and trips. They were taken to the beautiful area of Shantang Street for shopping and a boat trip, as well as visiting Suzhou market, museum and gardens.
They later travelled to the huge cities of Shanghai and Beijing, taking in the sights of the Pearl Oriental tower, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. The students rounded off their visit with a trip to the Great Wall and the world famous silk market, Beijing.
Caroline Lincoln, China Link Co-ordinator said “The exchange programme has proven to be an excellent opportunity for both our students and the visiting Chinese students. The most recent trip was a truly unforgettable experience for us all!”
To complete the exchange, a group of Chinese students will fly to the UK next year and stay at Writhlington for a 6 weeks period.
Pictured: Writhlington students at the Great Wall of China
Writhlington will be hosting a talk from a member of the House of Lords on Friday 23rd November to encourage students to engage more with the political and parliamentary process. It is one of over 40 visits to schools that will take place around the UK to mark the final day of Parliament Week, a national initiative to build greater awareness of, and engagement with, parliamentary democracy in the UK.
Lord Whitty will meet with students for an hour to talk about the work and role of the House of Lords. This will be followed by a question and answer session on various aspects of the parliamentary process and life at Westminster generally.
Matt Shafto, teacher of Politics at Writhlington commented, “This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to interact with someone who knows the parliamentary system inside out, as it can sometimes seem far removed from their daily lives.”
The visit was arranged through the Lord Speaker’s “Peers in Schools” programme, which has been running across the UK since 2007 and has so far involved around 50,000 young people. Friday the 23rd will see the programme complete over 1,000 visits to schools up and down the country since its creation.
42 students represented Writhlington School in the B&NES District Cross-Country Championships at Kingswood School on Thursday 8th November. All students conducted themselves well in cold conditions and produced some very pleasing performances.
Iwan Tudor in Year 7 deserves particular praise for his convincing win in the Minor Boys race, where he ran home almost a minute before the rest of the competition. Tuso Makombe, also in Year 7, finished strongly in 8th position.
Other notable performances came from Minty Hampden-Martin in Year 10, who finished 6th and Syd Lethridge in Year 12 , who finished 5th in the 6.6km Senior Boys race. These four students are likely to be selected to represent B&NES in the County Round of the competition on Saturday 12th January.
Well done to all Writhlington students who took part and good luck to those students who will continue to the next round.
Last weekend's British Orchid Congress organised and hosted by Writhlington School pupils has been acclaimed as the best ever by orchid growers across the UK and abroad.
Derek Copley, chairman of the Bournemouth Orchid Society described the event as "the best Congress in which we have participated including the one we staged in the 80s" while German Orchid Trader, Frank Roellke noted that "the show was the best organised event we have attended in the UK".
Teacher Simon Pugh-Jones put the show's success down to the dedication, commitment and teamwork of Writhlington School's volunteers. Twenty five pupils aged from twelve to sixteen planned the event over the past twelve months and then organised and ran the event with the support of volunteer parents and ex-pupils.
The British Orchid Congress is held every two years and is the UK's largest orchid event. This year is the first time that the event has been held in the Mendips but the success of the show at Writhlington makes it likely that more major orchid events will be held here in the future.
More than two thousand visitors came to the congress and were treated to one of the largest displays of orchids the UK has witnessed in recent years. Eighteen orchid societies and nineteen international orchid nurseries provided a riot of tropical colour in Writhlington's Post 16 centre while the school theatre provided the venue for talks and lectures from world experts on orchid cultivation, science and conservation. Speakers included nursery man Jerry Fischer from America, Brazilian conservation expert Dr Richard Warren and two of Writhlington's own orchid experts, Zoe Barnes and Zoe Parfitt aged fifteen and sixteen respectively.
Profits raised at the event will help to fund the forthcoming Writhlington expedition to Sikkim in the Himalayas where Year 11 students will work with staff and pupils from the secondary schools of Gangtok to support the development of the Gangtok Schools Orchid Project set up with Writhlington's help in 2009.
Those who missed the show or are keen to see Writhlington's orchids again can do so on December 13th when the Orchid students host their annual Orchid Christmas event from 6-9pm. This year Orchid Christmas will feature Rwandan crafts as well as orchids. Writhlington School as been working to support the setting up of orchid projects in rural schools in Rwanda for twelve months and students are selling Rwandan crafts purchased directly from producers to help fund the first Writhlington visit to the Central African country in 2013.
Students from Writhlington’s combined cadet force (CCF) braved the harsh winter weather last weekend as part of their winter training operations.
The two-day training operation took place on Salisbury Plain in a training area specially allocated by the Ministry of Defence. The students were put into simulations, where they had to attack, defend and successfully operate within their own chain of command.
The simulations put on by ex and current serving military personal, offered the cadets a range of mentally and physically challenging scenarios, covering open warfare, helicopter rescue and urban firefight tactics.
Even though the weather gradually deteriorated over the course of the weekend, the cadets training kicked in and they all showed great resolve and determination to complete all tasks set.
The final operation involved clearing enemy positions and rescuing hostages before returning back to base to find an enemy ambush. Over 1000 blank rounds were fired and pyrotechnics were deployed to end the weekend with a bang.
Dan Lewis of Writhlington CCF commented, “The weekend was a great success and one of the best operations we have run.”
Writhlington girls’ sport has made an excellent start this Autumn Term, with outstanding attendance at girls’ clubs and some fantastic results against local schools.
With high quality external specialist coaches supporting the committed staff team, the girls are really benefitting from regular training across a range of sports. This has equipped them with the skills and tactics they need to beat their opponents in the wide and varied fixture schedule.
There are numerous clubs and activities on offer for girls this term, including tennis, trampolining, gymnastics, badminton, netball and hockey.
The Year 7, 8 and 9 girls are a part of the B&NES netball league and the Year 10 and 11 are part of the B&NES hockey league.
The Year 7 girls have had a good start and are quickly learning the skills and tactics they need to be successful. There have been high numbers at training and the girls are enjoying their netball - crucial at this early stage of their netball careers.
The Year 8 girls' hard work and dedication recently paid off, to give them a 12-6 win over St. Gregory’s School.
The Year 9s have a great deal to celebrate, after an 18-1 victory over Norton Hill School and a 19-2 victory over St. Gregory’s School. The girls are listening well and really striving to improve as a team. Captain Anna Lee and GA Amy Seymour have been influential in these victories.
The year 10 hockey team still remains unbeaten this season, having had two convincing wins against Norton Hill and St. Gregory’s; winning 6-1 and 10-2 respectively.
The Year 11s had one narrow defeat, but picked themselves up to draw with Wellsway School and beat St. Gregory’s in a superb 8-0 victory.
All the teams have an excellent attitude in training and we are expecting students to continue to improve and win, over the next term.
Students at Writhlington School have won a £700 business loan to get their enterprise idea, Bare records, up and running.
Tycoon in Schools is a brand new nationwide campaign to get Britain's school children involved in entrepreneurship. By taking part in the initiative, schools are helping to stimulate a more enterprising culture that will have a lasting impact on thousands of students across Britain.
Spearheaded by Peter Jones from Dragons Den, and the Peter Jones Foundation, the Tycoon in Schools scheme is in response to repeated calls for a national enterprise challenge in schools. The campaign will drive forward Peter's mission to put enterprise at the heart of the education system in Britain.
Writhlington students have been working on their record label, Bare records, since last term and their dedication and hard work has been rewarded with the £700 loan.
The students will receive their loan at the end of October and will then have four weeks to trade and make as much profit as possible. At the beginning of December teachers will upload their students’ business project reports and on the 14th of December 2012 the business loans will be repaid. What the students do with the surplus profit is entirely up to them.
On 10th December 2012 the winning Tycoon businesses will be announced which will be followed up with a ceremony in January 2013 to celebrate the winners.
Paul Mann, Head of Business at Writhlington commented ‘ I am incredibly proud of all our students hard work and commitment to this enterprise program. The students have all come up with some great ideas and I believe that they can successfully use this loan to start a profitable business’.
Pictured: The business minds behind Bare records
Left to Right: Billy Say, Hannah Slater, Thomas Davies, Kate Slater, and Ellen Crozier
Five students and one teacher from Writhlington School are going to visit China over October half term. The trip has been arranged by the Bath Suzhou Educational Partnership and involves students from Writhlington, Beechencliffe, Hayesfield, St Gregory’s and King Edward’s.
The project has been running for the last two years and links between the schools are already well established, with students from Suzhou Foreign Language School coming to stay with host families at Writhlington School over the spring and summer terms.
The nine-day trip will include four days spent in Suzhou, when the students will visit two secondary schools. They will take part in a World Heritage Conference, and will teach some lessons to Chinese students.
The students will also visit Beijing and Shanghai, visiting some of the important cultural and heritage sites including the Great Wall, Tiananem Square and the Forbidden City. There will also be time for a river trip and shopping.
Pictured Left to right: Jessica White, Emma Shaw, Amy Williams, Mrs Lincoln, Sophie Pearson and Megan Tudor
Writhlington students showcased their talents both in performance and organisation when they staged ‘A night with the stars’ at Writhlington’s Prospect Theatre. This was the first concert at the school to be organised entirely by Sixth Form students. The organising team, led by Maisie Hillier in Year 13, was George Beechener, Jenn Morgan, Lucy Tout, Charlotte-May Messer and Emily Seal.
The one-night-only show sold out the 400-seat Prospect Theatre, leaving standing room only. Ticket holders were treated to a spectacular array of musical talent including solo musicians, bands, choir and dancers.
The evening’s entertainment followed a creative and carefully constructed programme, with imaginative stage design and technical lighting organised by students from the Stage Crew.
£1,800 raised from the show will be put towards the Music Department’s 2013 trip to Lake Garda, Italy. The tour gives students the opportunity to perform in some of the most stunning concert venues, as well as giving them the chance to visit cultural cities, including Verona and Venice.
The evening was a great success and commendations should be made to all acts and student committee members, as they all showed remarkable commitment and dedication to learn the music and organise the event in such a short period of time.
Fiona Langley, Head of music and Director of the evening, commented ‘I am so proud of these students. Not only do they consistently show incredible musical talent, they also have amazing organisational and team work skills to produce a concert of this calibre.'
This October offers a real tropical treat as British National Orchid Show will be held at Writhlington School.
The triennial show called the British Orchid Congress will attract visitors from across the UK including the BBC’s Monty Don.
Monty Don will also be recording a feature for Gardeners’ World looking at the extraordinary horticultural work of Writhlington School’s students.
Zoe Parfitt, aged 16, featured on TV with Monty Don earlier this year at the Hampton Court Flower show and she is looking forward to welcoming him to Writhlington. “Monty is really interested to see how the Writhlington Orchid Project has developed since his last visit to us in 2004 and so will be joining us for the opening of our big show.”
The British Orchid Congress Show opens to the public at 6pm on Friday 26th October for a celebrity preview evening and a special opportunity to see the show before the main show days from 9am-5pm on Saturday 27th October and 10am-4pm on Sunday 28th October. The preview evening costs £12 including a buffet and the weekend show days cost £5 with no pre-booking required.
Teacher Simon Pugh-Jones, who runs the Orchid Project, described the forthcoming show as “A really spectacular event. We have nurseries coming from all over Europe to offer the widest range of orchids the South West has ever seen. Orchids are now Britain’s number one house plant and I can guarantee that visitors will find plants that they have never seen before at the show.”
As well as plant displays and sales there will be talks about orchid culture, arts and crafts, photographic displays and a wide range of refreshments including a unique coffee bus from Guatemala.
More information about the show can be found on the website www.wsbeorchids.org
Ten Writhlington boys have managed to earn a place on the U15s Mendip Lions Development Rugby Squad.
The Mendip Lions side represents players from Midsomer Norton, Chew Valley, Frome, Keynsham and Old Redcliffians Rugby Clubs.
The boys were invited to the trial and displayed high levels of ability, skill and exceptional commitment to sport, gaining themselves a place in the final squad.
The team will have a tough month of training and games, with a view to winning the Super 6 Trophy at the final in November.
The trials came after the Writhlington Year 10 Rugby Team won another game in the B&NES league, this time snatching victory from St Gregory’s in a closely fought 8-7 win.
Congratulation to the students selected for the Mendip Lions: Adam Williams, Alex Gapper, Chris Tout, Grant Seymour, Harry Swain, James Hazell, Jay Fernandez, Luis Davila, Oliver Davidson, Tim Lee.
Year 10 Robyn Veater competed in the National Series of Water Ski Racing for the fourth year running. Robyn came third in the National event held at Weston-Super-Mare and is delighted with her result.
Robyn has been water skiing since she was 8, learning the sport from her father who is now her dedicated boat driver.
The enthusiasm, practice and dedication, has enabled her improve her performance better in nationals and earlier this year helped her to get elected to water-ski for her country, representing Team GB for British Water Ski and Wakeboard at the European Cup in Belgium.
Year 11 Hospitality students joined thousands of people across the UK in raising money for Macmillan as part of the ‘World’s Biggest coffee morning’.
The students worked extremely hard, baking and decorating over 20 different delicious cake recipes, serving them to staff and students during break and lunch time.
Since 1991 World’s Biggest Coffee Morning has raised over £60 million for Macmillan Cancer support. Last year 51,000 people signed up to the coffee morning and raised a record £10 million. The money raised is used to help improve the lives of people affected by cancer, so no one has to go through cancer alone.
Organiser of the Writhlington event, Paula Chivers, commented ‘the response from the students has been exceptional; everybody has really got behind the fundraising event, helping to raise awareness and money for this incredible charity’
Writhlington students are hoping to make lots of money and help Macmillan beat last year’s total.
Pictured: Rose Lucas helping to serve the homemade cakes
On Wednesday 3rd of October, Writhlington will be launching its Masterclass sessions for year 5 and 6 students from the surrounding area. Writhlington Masterclasses are designed to stretch and challenge the students within their favourite subjects. The classes are free and are a great opportunity for the children to get used to a secondary school environment.
The Masterclasses are held termly and offer a range of exciting and diverse subject areas from which to choose. The Masterclasses will utilise Writhlington’s state-of-the-art facilities to provide students with a fun, engaging and exceptional learning experience.
The Masterclasses will be run from 16:15 – 17.30 at Writhlington School and refreshments will be provided.
• Wednesday 3rd October: Maths – “Mathemagic”
English – “Twisting Tales”
Science – “Blood”
Media – “Creating Music Videos”
Please book your place by contacting Hannah Jones by email hjones[at]wsbe.org.uk or by telephone on 01761 433581 extension 2023.
Congratulations to all Writhlington students and staff who worked tirelessly to help make last term’s theatre production ‘ A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ a great success. The contemporary take on the traditional Shakespeare play ran for two nights in Writhlington’s Prospect Theatre and received a great response from the audience.
A particular mention should be made to all those students that took up the challenge and filled in for last minute cast changes.
Media club did an excellent job of filming the production and DVDs are now on sale at only £4, with all proceeds going into purchasing new Media Club equipment.
To order your copy, please contact Mr Edwards.
Writhlington is the highest achieving school in the local community for GCSE results this year. Sixty-two percent of students achieved the important nationally reported key Government measure of 5 A*-C including Maths and English – a figure substantially higher than any other local secondary school.
Ninety-five percent of students, the highest in the local area, achieved 5 A*-C across a rigorous range of qualifications. Half of Year 11 students achieved at least 5 A*/A grades. This success continues a year on year trend of achievement at the highest level at both GCSE and A Level. Writhlington is committed to ensure success, irrespective of a child’s starting point.
Writhlington has the largest and most successful Sixth Form in the local community, achieving the best results in Bath and North East Somerset with a remarkable 47% of all grades at A* and A, and well over half of all grades at A*, A, and B. Twenty five students achieved 3 or more A*/A grades, with some outstanding individual results. Students will be following degree courses at prestigious universities across the UK, including: UCL, York University, Birmingham, Exeter University, LSE, Durham, Bath, Manchester, Warwick, Sheffield, Leeds and Cardiff.
Those students who choose other routes are equally successful, such as recent Writhlington students Jack Nix and Ashley Swain who have recently been nominated for the Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Bath Business Awards.
Headteacher, Mark Everett says that academic achievement is only part of the Writhlington success story. He said “I believe Writhlington is simply remarkable in the way we nurture every child and I warmly welcome you to come and see for yourself.”
“The buildings are exceptional with the school being awarded first prize in the “Excellence in Design – new build” (secondary) category at 2012 British Council for School Environments (BCSE) awards as the best new build secondary school in the country. The school also won a national award for its innovative use of technology and virtual learning.”
Writhlington looks forward to welcoming Year 6 children and their parents at the forthcoming Open Evening on 25 September 2012. Doors will be open at 6pm and there will be an opportunity to tour the site, meet current students and talk to staff.
At Writhlington the philosophy is that every child is unique and there are no barriers to a child achieving their full potential. Every member of the school community works to develop each child into a confident, successful young person ready to take on the challenges of the 21st Century. As commented in the school’s 2011 Ofsted Report, children “flourish” at Writhlington.
When students join the school it is the beginning of a long term partnership leading to sixth form study, university, training and employment.
The school will also hold open mornings throughout the first week of October for anyone who cannot attend the Open Evening. These dates will be published on the school’s website.
Writhlington comprehensively defeated Beechen Cliff School to become Bath and North East Somerset School Champions (Year 10) at Keynsham Cricket Club in a final held over from the summer term.
Winning the toss and bowling first, the Writhlington opening pair of Parfitt and Pack started off in miserly fashion only conceding 21 runs from the first 5 overs. Hobbs came into the attack and clean bowled the Beechen Cliff opener in spectacular style knocking the stump out of the ground. While Hemmings was expensive with his fiery spell of pace bowling, skipper Bishop changed the momentum of the innings by bowling brilliant off spin from the far end. The pressure he created took its toll on the opposition as a couple of run outs and some great catches by Writhlington fielders really pulled Beechen Cliff back from a dominant position to a below par score of 97-6 at the end of 20 overs. Bishop ending with figures of 4-0-7-1 and Hobbs with 3-0-9-2 were the outstanding performers with the ball.
Chasing the modest target of 98 for victory, Writhlington were in trouble at 23-3 with Hobbs, Pack and Bishop all back in the pavilion. However a very positive partnership between Brinkworth (14) and the cool, calm, collected Hemmings (37 not out) took Writhlington to the brink of victory before an unfortunate mixup saw Brinkworth ran out by half the pitch. In strode Parfitt who briskly made 10 before being caught out, leaving Hemmings to guide the side home in style by hitting a four to win the game with two overs to spare.
Skipper Bishop collected the trophy on behalf of the players and the celebrations began. This was a fantastic end to a great season.
Writhlington comprehensively defeated Chew Valley School in last year’s rearranged Year Cricket Cup final at Keynsham Cricket Club last night with a fantastic team performance. Batting first, Croker & Caddywood set the tone in the first over, scoring 13 runs. The pair put on 65 for the first wicket before Croker was caught for 28. Lenihan continued the quick scoring making 30 before being bowled. Captain Caddywood led the way with impressive hitting including a six. He fell just short of a deserved 50 as he was caught out for 44, leaving the field to a standing ovation. Lock and Vowell looked positive in the last 4 overs of the innings, with Vowell launching a huge straight six. Writhington amassed 157-5 at the end of 20 overs.
Chew Valley were up against the run rate from the first over as Watts and Strand bowled a threatening line at decent pace. Spencer behind the stumps was effortless in taking everything that came through to him and with Hunt at slip offering plenty of support and advice to all the batters Writhington were well on top. Vowell came on from the far end and struggled to land the ball. Enter Croker who bowled a magical spell of leg spin which the Chew Valley batters had no answer to - his figures of 5-19 off 4 overs was one of the best ever seen in a cup final. The fielding was led brilliantly by Millard at backward point and as the run rate soared the inevitable happened as the Chew Valley batters gave Writhlington fielders 3 run outs which was a fitting way to end the game.
Skipper Caddywood received the trophy on behalf of the team.
Two ex Writhlington students are fighting youth unemployment in a truly entrepreneurial way. The pair decided that university was not for them, particularly as they were concerned about student debt, so they decided to start their own business in the local area.
School friends, Jack Nix and Ashley Swain set up South West Bin Cleaning earlier this year and have already started to turn a profit. The firm cleans, disinfects and deodorises residential and commercial wheelie bins – eliminating bacteria, odours and vermin. It covers an area around Bath stretching to Chippenham, Melksham, Trowbridge, Frome, Glastonbury and Wells.
The business is doing exceptionally well and the two proprietors have been nominated for the Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Bath Business Awards, held later this month.
The enterprise is being supported by the Bath office of accountants Bishop Fleming. Its director of business service Debbie Boulton said: “This is a perfect example of how young entrepreneurs can create and build a business.
Mike Burr, Director of Post 16 said “During their time at Writhlington, Jack and Ashley developed exactly the right sort of problem solving ability, people skills and most importantly the confidence to take on this type of project. We are very proud of them”.
Pictured: Jack Nix (left) and Ashley Swain (right), with business adviser Debbie Boulton of Bishop Fleming
Writhlington School’s ‘Prospect Theatre’ has opened its doors to external groups for hire. The Prospect is a stunning new venue that can seat 385 with exceptional sight lines and acoustics. Already a popular venue with many leading music theatre groups, the theatre has also provided the main stage for several full scale musicals and plays and is looking forward to developing secure relationships with groups in the local area and also further afield.
Ed Hill, the Theatre Manager based at the Prospect says ‘ The Prospect is a new performance venue equipped to handle most performances from fashion shows, concerts to conferences. Its flexibility and modern look makes this an exciting venue for any group at a reasonable cost. What is unique about the Prospect is that it is supported by a group of students who are trained to provide support for the venue. Everything from lighting and sound to ticket sales and stage management. The team have vast experience with managing diverse events from performances to book signings.’
More details of this exciting venue can be found on the Prospect’s website. www.prospecttheatre.co.uk
Writhlington students pulled out all the stops again to produce outstanding GCSE results. Half of Year 11 achieved at least 5 A*/A grades in this year’s examinations. This success continues a year on year trend of achievement at the highest level at both GCSE and A Level. Over 95% of students gained at least 5 A*-C grades and the results in Mathematics were particularly pleasing with almost 70% of students achieving the gold standard A*-C. This is well over 10% above national results for Mathematics.
There were many highly impressive individual achievements. Amongst those students with exceptional performances were: Lucy Kate Chaudrai (9A* and 3 As), Marc Czarnuszewicz (9A* and 2 As), Amy Dowler (9A*and 2 As), Alice Graham ( 8 A* and 3 As), Gabby Hopkins (6A* and 3As), Lauren Sly (6A*and 3As), Anthony McKeever (5A*and 5As) and Megan McPherson (5A* and 3As).
Almost three quarters of Writhlington year 11 students will be continuing to Advanced Level study in the school’s Post 16 Centre.
Headteacher Mark Everett said: “As always the dedication and commitment of our students has brought about some excellent examination results. We are delighted that so many students are staying on to undertake their A Level studies at Writhlington. Our Post 16 Centre has doubled in size in the last three years and our students continue to prestigious universities across the UK”
Macauley Dempsey, a key member of Writhlington’s Inclusive Zone basketball team which won the national championships in May, has been chosen to be a lantern bearer in Bath's Paralympic celebration.
Macauley is also a member of South West Scorpions Basketball Club, which recently broke the record for the longest wheelchair basketball game by playing continuously for 27 hours and 32 minutes. The record was previously held by a US Team in Nebraska.
He is excited about being part of the Paralympic Games build up on Saturday, August 25, where he will be one of nine Lantern Bearers chosen by Bath and North East Somerset Council and will take part in a carnival procession through Bath.
Macauley will also be supporting the Team GB athletes in London and is looking forward to cheering them on.
In September Macauley transfers to Filton College where he has won a place on a sports course which will help him fulfil his long term ambition of teaching sport.
Macauley commented ‘ It feels great to be selected as a lantern bearer in Bath's celebrations and represent the sport’
For the fourth year running, students from Writhlington School are celebrating their school’s best ever results at Post 16. A remarkable 47% of all grades achieved were at grade A* and A, whilst well over half of all grades awarded were at A*, A, and B.
Twenty five students achieved 3 or more A/A* grades, with some outstanding results including the following students: James Forsey (Maths A*, Further Maths A, Physics A) has successfully obtained a place to study Civil Engineering at UCL; Sam Hopkins (ICT A*, Maths A, Further Maths A, Physics B) will be studying Computing at York University; Jake Edgell (Further Maths A*, Physics A*, Maths A*, Chemistry A), will be studying Mechanical Engineering at Birmingham University; Ben Pearson (ICT A*, English A, Geography A and Business Studies A) is going to Exeter University to study Geography. Students have also successfully obtained places at other prestigious universities including LSE, Durham, Bath, Manchester, Warwick, Sheffield, Leeds and Cardiff.
In addition to achieving outstanding A Level results, Tom Benney received an A* for his Extended Project and will go on to take part in the Deloitte Scholar Scheme where he will travel and gain paid business experience before taking up his University place. Two Golf Academy students, Christopher Coles and Thomas Maggs, will be pursuing golf careers by working towards their PGA Qualifications with Farrington Golf Club and Orchardleigh Golf Club.
This year’s phenomenal set of results means that almost every single student has been able to go to their first choice of university. Headteacher Mark Everett said “We know that there has been a drop in university applications nationally but we are pleased that this isn’t reflected in the number of our students applying to university. It shows that our students realise the value of Higher Education. We are equally impressed with the dedication and ambition of students choosing other career goals including Management Training Programmes with LV, Sainsbury’s and EDF Energy.”
“Writhlington School is proud of its students and their hard work and dedication. Their success comes as no surprise given the consistent commitment shown by these students during their seven years at Writhlington. We are delighted with their results.”
On Monday, 40 students arrived back from an exciting Geography trip to Italy. All the pupils really enjoyed the trip to the Bay of Naples, and were excited to climb Mount Vesuvius and visit the ruined Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
The trip also took in the Isle of Capri, where all pupils took a chair lift to the top of the island to enjoy the fantastic views and great Italian ice cream. On the final day pupils visited Pozzuoli amphitheatre and the Phlegraean Fields at Solfatara where pupils saw volcanic bubbling mud and fumeroles. In the evenings the pupils were able to relax at the beach and take a dip in the hotel pool to cool off.
Thanks to Miss Higgins, Mr Bridges, Mr McGuinness and Miss Baker for a great trip! Ciao Italia!
Last week Writhlington band Fyre Fight preformed their own material at the Young Chamber Battle of the Bands final at Wembley stadium.
The Event was the culmination of a process started earlier this year, when teams from all over the United Kingdom registered to enter ‘The Skills Factor 2012’ competition. The competition provides an opportunity for young people to showcase their enterprise skills alongside their music talent and creative abilities.
Dan Harper, Writhlington Studio Manager helped the band record one of their first original compositions in the Writhlington recording studio. He then encouraged them to submit their recording to the Battle of the Bands competition.
Hundreds of bands entered the competition but Writhlington’s ‘Fyre Fight’, was one of only three shortlisted for the final event at Wembley Stadium.
Each band played a 15-minute set of original material in front of the panel of judges, over 200 people and esteemed guests including comedian Tim Minchin and presenter Steve Backshall.
Fyre Fight put on a great show and managed to grab second place, just coming behind Bradley Stoke Post 16 Centre’s ‘Not So Anonymous’. As a reward each member of Fyre Fight received a personal copy of Roland music production software to help them continue producing music.
Dan Harper commented ‘ It was an amazing experience for the band, not only to come second from a UK wide competition but to have played at Wembley stadium in front of celebrities’.
Fyre Fight at Wembley L to R: Owen Stephens, Zak Phillips, David Evans, Jack Strawbridge, Curtis Shaw
Children, parents and members of the community from Writhlington School, competed against budding cooks across the country in a healthy cooking challenge and won the Outstanding Event category in the competition. Writhlington students went the extra mile for the South West and won £100 for their Club.
Writhlington’s Let’s Get Cooking club pitted its members and supporters against clubs around England in a bid to get the most people cooking the same healthy recipe on the same day.
The BIG Cookathon which took place on Thursday 8 March, was organised by the national healthy cooking programme ‘Let’s Get Cooking’. The aim was to beat last year’s success - when more than 50,000 people took part.
Looking to win a share of the £5,000 in prize money offered by the lottery funded project, Writhlington’s Let’s Get Cooking club rustled up a delicious Ham and Leek Cheesy Crumble.
Let’s Get Cooking club coordinators, Genevieve Marsland and Jackie Dix , said: “The Let’s Get Cooking club at Writhlington School has been truly inspirational for our students. The Big Cookathon really showcased their passion as they helped groups of fellow students in cooking the recipe. The competition has been a great focal point of our year and our students confidence, ability and enthusiasm has grown hugely as a result”.
Students from Writhlington School’s Orchid Project have won a Silver Gilt medal at their first Hampton Court Flower Show.
Zoe Parfitt, who designed the display, explained ‘ Our display showcases the diversity of orchid species and really excited the shows visitors’
The display also attracted the BBC who featured both the schools orchids and growers on their evening TV show. Zoe was interviewed by Monty Don to find out how young horticulturalists could be encouraged in the future.
Teacher Simon Pugh-Jones said afterwards ‘ I am very proud of the effort made by all the twenty-six students who worked at the show. The have had a great experience and impressed gardeners from across the UK’.
The next chance for people to visit the Orchid project will be at the British Orchid Congress, which Writhlington is hosting from 26th – 28th October this year.
Small groups of students from 8 different local schools and youth groups took part in a political challenge based at Writhlington School last week.
The competition was organised by a group of Post 16 Writhlington students studying Government and Politics and its purpose was to recognise young talent and develop political skills focused around the theme of anti-bullying.
Eight schools took part; including Writhlington, Chew Valley, Culverhay, Norton Hill, St Gregorys, Haysfield, Ralph Allen and Radstock Youth Group, all took part in the event. Each group provided unique ideas on how to combat bullying and presented their pitch in the Prospect Theatre to the other teams.
Violence, racism and Internet bullying, were common themes explored by the competitors. These themes provided the basis for the group’s prevention ideas which included ‘safe zones’, extra curricular activities to keep school children occupied and inspirational mottos such as ‘see it-challenge it-report it’.
With a majority vote, Writhlington School managed to win the overall competition and was therefore able to gain stronger backing in making their ideas an achievable goal within Youth Parliament.
‘It was great to see so many young people interested in the Youth Parliament. There were some extremely well thought out solutions and arguments to the issues raised. I would like to thank all students involved, in particular the Post-16 students who organised the event’ commented Matthew Shafto, Writhlington Politics teacher.
In celebration of National Armed Forces Day on Saturday 30th of June, a small representation of students from Writhlington CCF and Air Cadets, spent their school day in full military uniform.
National Armed Forces Day is a great opportunity to raise public awareness of the contribution made to our country by those who serve and have served in Her Majesty's Armed Forces. It also gives the nation an opportunity to show support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving troops to service families and from veterans to cadets.
‘As one of few state schools with a CCF, it is a great honour for Writhlington to be able to contribute to the day and show our support to the Armed Forces’ commented Mark Everett, Head teacher at Writhlington.
Last weekend Olympic 400m hurdler Dai Greene sealed his spot in the GB Olympic team. He took time out of his busy training regime to visit Writhlington School earlier this week as part of the ‘Athletes for Schools’ scheme. The purpose of the visit was to enthuse and engage students using the values of sport and sportsmanship and to raise the profile of the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Having already won gold in 400m hurdles at the Commonwealth, European and world championships, Dai Greene is one of Britain’s top Gold medal hopes this summer.
During his visit to the school, Dai talked about different aspects of his life, highlighting the importance of setting goals and his preparation for the London 2012 Olympics. He then delivered two 45-minute workshops where students joined in fun activity sessions that reflect his own sport and training regime.
The visit will mark the start of Olympic week at Writhlington School with Olympic themed competitions running throughout all school years in P.E and after school clubs.
‘ It’s great for the students to have an Olympic role model, inspiring them to achieve higher levels in sports and demonstrating that with the right determination they can reach a professional level’ commented Ben Naunton, Head of P.E
Dai Greene commented ‘ All of the kids really enjoyed the hurdling and they seemed to challenge themselves, which is good. It is great to see students becoming more enthusiastic about sports and the upcoming Olympic events’
Writhlington School has scooped first prize in the ‘Excellence in design – new build’ (secondary) category at the 2012 British Council for School Environments (BCSE) awards. The national competition is run for best practice in UK design and construction of schools. Writhlington’s future proof design and innovative use of technologies also helped the school win a badge in the virtual learning category.
Designed by the award winning international architects Aedas and constructed in 2010,Writhlington was one of many schools from around the country, which vied for a top slot at the annual awards, held in central London on Thursday June 21st. Entries were received from architects, contractors, suppliers, local authorities and schools themselves for submission across key areas of the design and construction of schools.
Since the main school building was opened in 2010, Writhlington has had further investment in state of the art facilties for Post-16 students and further development and refurbishment of the Sports Centre.
Headteacher Mark Everett commented,“there are so many fantastic opportunities for young people here at Writhlington. The icing on the cake is the outstanding facilities we are working in and I’m delighted that our building has been acknowledged as the best newly built secondary school in the country. Credit must go to staff and students who worked with the architects to ensure the building met the needs of 21 century learning”.
Writhlington students have been combining the school’s professional standard recording studio with a business enterprise module, to start their own recording company ‘ Bare Records’. The aim of the company is to record and produce an album that exhibits the best of the school’s talent.
Students have worked hard to write a business plan, which was submitted to senior leadership team, and organise booking the studios, recruiting talent, recording sessions and designing the album artwork.
A number of students from all year groups have been recording their songs in the studio. Some have been doing covers whilst others are recording original tracks. Eventually the students behind Bare Records are hoping to sell the album at school events.
‘As we have such amazing recording facilities at the school, we thought it would be good to start an enterprise company that made use of these facilities’ said Rebecca Heppinstall, Business studies teacher.
Last weekend the Prospect Theatre Technical Team, comprising of students based at Writhlington School, were asked to stage-manage the BOOM main stage in Royal Victoria Park.
BOOM Stage is a collection of one-day mini festivals & evenings run by and dedicated to 11-24 year olds. BOOM really is a celebration of youth culture at its best,
The team of 8 were responsible for liaising with the acts throughout the day and ensuring that everything ran smoothly and on time, a challenging feat, particularly when spread across a 14-hour day and with an audience of over 2000.
Ed Hill, the Prospect Theatre and Special Events Manager, co-ordinated the team throughout the day, he said “The team were professional and hardworking even when up against some hard circumstances, really emulating everything that the theatre and the school stands for and encourages”.
Professor Marcus Du Sautoy, eminent mathematician, Oxford lecturer, President of the Mathematical Association and TV presenter, visited Writhlington School earlier this week to present the Manga High National Science & Engineering Week (NSEW) Maths Challenge trophy.
Eight hundred and seventy seven Writhlington students took part in answering around ¼ million maths questions during the Manga High National competition in March. Writhlington students shone above the rest and earned their school the National NSEW Maths Challenge title, beating every other school by a large margin.
The competition was held on the Manga High website, which is one of the world’s first games-based-learning sites, where students learn Mathematics via purpose-built casual games, that balance fun and learning. Games-Based Learning fuses computer games and academic subjects to provide a compelling and exciting supplement to traditional education.
Professor Marcus Du Sautoy presented a trophy to the school, plus medals to the best 10 students at Writhlington who entered the competition. He also delivered a fantastic and engaging 40-minute maths talk to 400 of the top participating students.
‘Manga High is a fun and engaging way to learn Maths, all of our students enjoy using the resources and I am extremely proud of everybody that participated in this competition’ John Corbett, Writhlington Maths Teacher
Back L to R: Professor Marcus Du Sautoy, Rachel Threlkeld, Daniel Harding, Zoe Lean and Kieran Futcher
Front L to R: Sam Vickery, Jack Phillips, Danielle McMenemy, Rosie Cox and Alex Gardiner
American young adult and urban fantasy author Maggie Stiefvater, will be visiting Writhlington School on Monday 11th June 2012.
Maggie Stiefvater the bestselling author of ‘Shiver’, ‘Linger’ and ‘Forever’, will be talking to year 8 students at Writhlington and sharing extracts from her latest novel ‘ The Scorpio Races’.
There will be signing and personalizing all copies of her novel purchased at the event. For your exclusive opportunity to meet and speak to a real author and take away your own-signed novel as a wonderful memento, contact Miss McGrath or Mrs Willcox in the Communications Department.
As the Olympic Flame continues to make its way around the country, last week Writhlington’s Chinese exchange students took the opportunity to greet it as it came through Somerset.
The Suzhou students went to the Mendip town of Frome as part of their weekly cultural trip. The torch arrived at Frome shortly before 11.55am after having already passed through Street, Glastonbury, Coxley, Wells, Croscombe and Shepton Mallet.
The streets were lined with thousands as people, all out to watch the prestigious and once in a lifetime event. Bunting decorated every surface and hands clasped onto the red, white and blue flags or balloons. The Suzhou students joined in the excitement, waving the Union Jacks cheering and clapping as the flame, torch carrier and entourage passed through the town to continue on its next leg of the journey.
Pupils from Writhlington School are joining forces with the Woodland Trust to plant a native copse in their school grounds as part of the charity's Jubilee Woods project.
The Trust is aiming to plant six million trees across the UK during the course of the project to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen in 2012. Schools and communities across the region are taking part by planting free trees provided by the charity.
Georgina McLeod, Head of Jubilee Woods at the Woodland Trust said: "We are delighted thousands of communities and schools are using our free tree schemes to plant more trees in their local area. Groups are transforming their neighbourhoods; growing their own fruits and food, creating shade and shelter, and providing new homes for wildlife. Through tree planting, schools are educating children about the benefits of trees and their importance for the environment."
"Throughout 2012 we are offering more free trees for people to plant in celebration of The Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and would love yet more communities and children to get involved.”
This autumn packs contain an exclusive Royal Oak sapling which has been grown from an acorn gathered from a Royal estate such as Sandringham or Windsor, to help people mark the Jubilee with a lasting tribute in their community or school.
"This is a great way to mark the Diamond Jubilee as well as improving our natural environment." Said Mike Searle, Head of Science & Technology at Writhlington
Schools and communities can register their plantings online and be included in the new Royal record of tree planting. This will be published online and a hard copy will be gifted to Her Majesty The Queen and the British Library at the end of the project.
Photographed: L to R – Elliott Matthews, Ruby Platt, Lily Grant, Lilly-May Johnson, Jamie Eatherden, Oliver Bennett
Last week Writhlington School held an LV= SOS Kit Aid collection day on the opening day of its cricket academy. The school has previously been involved with the LV= SOS Kit Aid initiative and opted to hold a collection day to celebrate the launch of the new cricket academy.
Pupils were encouraged to collect as much kit as possible for the initiative which provides second hand and new rugby/cricket kit to disadvantaged children in the UK and overseas, by collecting unwanted used kit from UK schools, clubs and other bodies. The programme makes a positive and tangible impact on young people's lives, giving children of all abilities and backgrounds the chance to participate in sporting activities.
The pupils who collected the most kit were rewarded at the launch of the cricket academy with cricket coaching from top professional cricket coaches Adam Hall and Mike Henderson.
David Smith, HR Director at LV= commented: “We have worked with Writhlington School on many occasions in the past and we are delighted that they have chosen to support LV= SOS Kit Aid to celebrate the launch of their cricket academy. It is really a great cause that we love being involved with. We are proud supporters of UK cricket and believe that this initiative can help us encourage future generations to get involved in the sport.”
On Friday 18th May Writhlington School was honored to receive H.E Ernest Rwamucyo, High Commissioner of Rwanda and Mrs Linda Kalimba, First Counsellor in charge of education.
Writhlington’s Combined Cadet Force, alongside Chairman Rob Appleyard, Miss Nell Matheson, Deputy Lieutenant of Somerset and Mark Everett, Headmaster, greeted the visitors.
The aim of the visit was to explore the possibility of an educational partnership between the Rwandan government and the award winning Writhlington Orchid Conservation project.
Writhlington students gave the High Commissioner an in depth guided tour of the Orchid project and greenhouses. This was followed by a presentation on the work of the Orchid Conservation Project and the benefits of an international partnership, sharing knowledge and resources.
If the partnership goes ahead, Rwanda will become the latest connection in Writhlington’s growing international network of orchid growers, which now include contacts in Laos, India, South Africa and Madagascar.
It is hoped that Writhlington students will travel to Rwanda to teach Orchid conservation, as well as receive Rwandan students at Writhlington so that they can learn in the school’s state of the art horticultural facilities.
‘The Rwandan High Commissioner seemed very impressed by the Orchid Conservation Project and the exceptional knowledge of our students. Hopefully in the future we will be able to send Writhlington students out to Rwanda to assist with their orchid conservation’ commented Simon Pugh-Jones of Writhlington’s Orchid Conservation Project